Vicky Nanjappa reports on how Fasih Mahmood, who was deported to India recently, could lead investigating agencies to the doorsteps of other absconding Indian Mujahideen operatives settled in Saudi Arabia
Fasih Mahmood is yet another case of how educated youth are taking the dreaded path of terror.
Sources told rediff.com that there are a large number of educated persons settled abroad who help the IM carry out its tasks. These persons continue to work on valid work permits and avoid the scanner. In Fasih's case, the police have found that he has been in the business since the past decade while maintaining a low profile at all times.
Fasih had been on the radar of agencies for almost nine years. Doubts about his role started growing when several arrested IM operatives began taking his name. They knew him on a direct basis rather than through e-mails or phone calls.
While India and Saudi Arabia are working together on busting terror modules, there is still a long way to go before more key operatives are nabbed.
The police hope that through Fasih they could get the required evidence to seek the extradition of many more crucial operatives, who have sought shelter in Saudi Arabia.
The first person on their target is Fayaz Qagzai, an IM operative from Maharashtra.
Immediately after Abu Jundal's arrest and subsequent deportation, the Indian agencies had sought to get their hands on Qagzai. However, the details about him were insufficient. and Saudi authorities sought more evidence before they could move against him.
While Fasih could provide the required details regarding the IM's set up in Saudi Arabia, it would need more investigation before the entire network is busted.
Sources said Fasih and Jundal revealed that Qagzai was a point man in Saudi Arabia who was in charge of recruitments. He even facilitated Jundal's movements when he landed there from Pakistan. Moreover, Imran Khan and Asad Khan (IM operatives arrested by the Delhi Police on September 26) have also revealed that they were facilitated by the same man when they had visited Saudi Arabia three years ago.
The arrest of Qagzai could possibly lead up to the arrest of the Bhatkal brothers, Riyaz and Iqbal. There is a lot of intelligence data on the duo, but the Interpol has demanded more proof.
It is said that they have sought shelter in Saudi Arabia and were present there a couple of months back. Qagzai has been the man who is directly in touch with them and even IM operatives arrested in India have stated that it was he who introduced them to the Bhatkal brothers.
A Delhi Police official said that Jundal and Fasih Mahmood could lead to them to more IM operatives like Tulla Gauri, Abdus Subhan, Ismail and Haneef.
The official added that they would move fast with these cases and provide Saudi Arabia with information on a regular basis so that they are able to nab more operatives who are part of the syndicate in Saudi Arabia.