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Yasin Bhatkal's confessions are a pack of lies: Experts

Last updated on: February 27, 2014 14:25 IST

Yasin Bhatkal's confessions are a pack of lies: Experts

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Vicky Nanjappa

Vicky Nanjappa lays bares terrorist Yasin Bhatkal's lies.

Experts term the 300-page chargesheet on Indian Mujahideen operative Yasin Bhatkal a pack of lies with many believing that he misled the investigators on various occasions.

Bhatkal's confessions on a nuclear weapon, IM's Al Qaeda link and about him rebelling against Pakistan's dreaded Inter Services Intelligence directorate are debatable, these experts say.

Rediff.com's Vicky Nanjappa spoke to experts who laid threadbare Bhatkal's confessions that found their way into the National Investigation Agency chargesheet.

The nuclear weapon story: Yasin Bhatkal claims he had plans of using a nuclear-tipped weapon -- a 'dirty bomb' -- in Surat, Gujarat. He claimed his brother Riyaz Bhatkal had confirmed that such a device could be arranged.

This claim, experts say, is more aspiration than reality, adding that at a time when terrorists find it difficult to smuggle in RDX into India, such a scenario seems unrealistic.

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Image: Indian Mujahideen terrorist Yasin Bhatkal.


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"Terrorists have ambitions to carry out massive killings," says Shishir Gupta, author of the book, The Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within. "But there is a huge difference between wishing for something and actually being able to do something."

Intelligence Bureau sources told this correspondent that the Indian Mujahideen's bomb factory has been struggling to create a sophisticated bomb.

The serial blasts at Pune were a clear indicator that IM's bomb-making skills are not at its best, especially after bomb-maker Abdus Subhan vanished.

IM has stuck to ammonium nitrate and Samay quartz timer for its bombs.

Yasin Bhatkal set up a workshop at an apartment in Mangalore where he and IM technicians experimented with changing the timer to an electronic device.

After trying for months, they failed and went back to the earlier type of bomb, which could not be controlled.

Given such a scenario, talk of a nuclear weapon seems far-fetched, IB sources feel, adding that even Al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Taliban have not obtained such a device.

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Image: Bombs failed to go off in Pune in August 2012.


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Yasin Bhatkal's confessions are a pack of lies: Experts

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The Al Qaeda story

The chargesheet quotes Yasin Bhatkal as saying he was inspired by Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and that he screened videos featuring bin Laden to IM cadres to motivate them for jihad.

Experts believe the ISI -- the IM's patrons -- would not permit an Al Qaeda involvement in India at least for now.

The Lashkar-e-Tayiba is still the ISI's choice for terror operations in India.

Intelligence Bureau agents say the ISI has made it clear to the IM's leadership that it could only work in tandem with the Lashkar.

While Yasin Bhatkal may have attempted to impress Al Qaeda figures he came in contact with, any future relationship between the two terror organisations would not be possible without the ISI's blessings.

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Image: Al Qaeda's late leader Osama bin Laden.


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The ISI claim

In his confessions, Yasin Bhatkal expressed bitterness with the ISI.

IM leaders including Iqbal Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal and Mirza Shadaab Beg, he claimed, were also unhappy with the ISI's control on IM's activities and wanted to intensify the jihad against India with the assistance of Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Experts believe there are two possibilities for Bhatkal's ISI remarks. One, that he could be lying about the IM not getting along with the ISI; second, that he was genuinely upset with the ISI and hoped that IM could break away from its Pakistani patrons and join forces with Al Qaeda.


Image: The logo for Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence directorate.


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