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Who will replace Yasin Bhatkal as India's Most Wanted?

August 30, 2013 14:45 IST

Who will replace Yasin Bhatkal as India's Most Wanted?

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After the setback of the arrest of their chief Yasin Bhatkal, top Indian Mujahideen operatives are now looking for his replacement.

Currently, five men are in the running for the top post in India's most dreaded terrorist outfit.

They are Shahnawaz Alam, Muhammad Sajid Bada, Alamzeb Afridi, Fayaz Kagzai and Ariz Khan.

All these operatives were in the top-most echelon of the Indian Mujaideen, they were close to Yasin and were also in touch with the group’s handlers in Pakistan. They are well-versed with the way the terror outfit operates and its modus operandi.

In spite of Yasin's arrest, the top structure of the IM will remain the same.

Amir Reza Khan, who is based in Pakistan, will be the prime financer. Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, who are also in Pakistan, will continue to oversee operations from Pakistan.

Reportage: Vicky Nanjappa

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Who will replace Yasin Bhatkal as India's Most Wanted?

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According to officials who have been tracking the activities of the Indian Mujahideen, Alamzeb Afridi is most likely to succeed Yasin. He has been part of the IM since its inception and is in charge of the Gujarat module.

Afridi went off the radar in 2009; security agencies believe he is still hiding somewhere in India and has not crossed over to Pakistan.

Muhammad Sajid Bada will be the IM’s next choice, as he was extremely close to Yasin. He played a major role in setting up modules in Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh and Darbhanga in Bihar along with Yasin.

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Image: Muhammad Sajid Bada


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Who will replace Yasin Bhatkal as India's Most Wanted?

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Fayaz Kagzai, who is one of the senior leaders of the IM, is in the race for the top post but is unlikely to be chosen for it.

He is currently in Saudi Arabia and Indian authorities are trying to extradite him. He operates as the middleman between the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Indian Mujahideen in Saudi Arabia and has earlier helped out terrorist Abu Jundal.

He was Yasin's point man in Saudi Arabia and the two coordinated extensively to establish a perfect network of terror planning, securing funds and recruiting cadres.

Dr Shahnawaz Alam is a member of the IM's Delhi module and plays a crucial role in the group's terror activities in the capital. His name had earlier cropped up in connection with the Batla House encounter.

Like Kagzai, he is a senior leader of the IM but the chances of him becoming the chief are slim.

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Image: Shahnawaz Alam


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Who will replace Yasin Bhatkal as India's Most Wanted?

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Ariz Khan is most likely to be the first runner-up to the position. He goes by the alias of Juaid and is close to the top leadership of the IM.

Security agencies believe he was involved in several blasts including those in Delhi and Hyderabad.

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