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13/7 blast accused was in touch with Yasin Bhatkal: ATS

June 03, 2012 18:56 IST

Naquee Ahmed, one of the 13/7 blasts accused, was in contact with Indian Mujahideen's elusive chief operative Yasin Bhatkal through a popular social networking site since 2008, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad claimed on Sunday.

Naquee, who hails from Darbhanga district of Bihar, was initially arrested on January 10 this year on charges of forgery for allegedly procuring mobile phone SIM cards using fake documents.

According to the Maharashtra ATS, these SIM cards had been used by the IM module that executed the terror strikes at Dadar, Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House on July 13, 2011 leaving 27 dead and 127 injured. Later, Naquee was held in connection with the blasts case, the ATS said.

"Naquee, who claimed to be a police informer and had been helping police solve the 13/7 blasts case, had actually been in touch with Imran, who in reality is Yasin Bhatkal, since 2008 through Facebook," said an ATS official.

Naquee knew the antecedents of Yasin and he had helped the latter throughout the conspiracy hatched to execute the blasts, the officer claimed.

"Not only Naquee, even Nadeem and Waqas (two other accused) were in touch with each other through Facebook," the official said, adding that the terror suspects communicated with each other using code language.

"We have taken the printouts of their Facebook accounts to prove their communication with each other since a long time. It is a crucial piece of evidence," the officer added.

The officer declined to divulge details when asked if the accused maintained real names or used fictitious names on the site. The officer also parried a question if the terror suspects' Facebook accounts still existed.

Naquee's brother Taqi Ahmed had in January approached the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Minorities, Delhi Police Commissioner and Union Home Minister P Chidambaram claiming that his brother was a police informer and had been wrongfully framed by the ATS in the serial blasts case.

The Maharashtra ATS had filed a 4,788-page charge-sheet recently in a special court against ten IM members, including its top operative Riyaz Bhatkal, who is believed to be hiding in neighbouring Pakistan.

The ATS has so far arrested five accused -- Naquee, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija Haroon Naik and Mohammed Qafeel Ansari.

Mohammed Qafeel's name was not mentioned in the charge-sheet filed against ten accused as he was recently arrested. A supplementary charge-sheet would be filed soon in which his name and other wanted accused's names would be mentioned.

According to the ATS, Yasin, Waqas and Tarbez had rented a third floor flat at Byculla's Habib building in south Mumbai where they allegedly assembled explosives.

As per Yasin's instructions, Naquee and Nadeem had stolen two-wheelers a day before the blasts and explosives were fitted in them to carry out explosions in Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House.

Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik were involved in providing financial aid through the hawala (informal money transfer system) route. Mohammed Qafeel was involved in providing logistical support.

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