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26/11 Mumbai mastermind surfaces in JK

Source: PTI
April 02, 2009 17:41 IST
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The recent infiltration bids in Jammu and Kashmir came in for some surprise for security agencies when they found Muzamil, one of the main Lashker-e--Taiba mastermind of the Mumbai terror attack, as the brain behind large-scale intrusion from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Security agencies monitoring wireless intercepts along the Line of Control (LoC) tracked a conversation where Muzamil was asking Hizbul Mujahideen Chief Syed Sallahuddin to push a large number of militant cadres into the state.

Muzamil alias Yusuf, whose real identity was yet to be established, has been seen as the brain behind the large-scale infiltration bids from across the border, official sources said, adding the new strategy adopted this time was to push in more and more terrorists before the snow melted at the passes.

The sources said the Mumbai mastermind, who is among the 38 people named in the chargesheet filed by the police in 26/11 attack, had held a meeting with other terrorist groups earlier last month including Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed despite the fact that these two outfits belong to a different sect of Islam.

The terrorists later spoke to Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Sallahuddin -- a conversation intercepted by security agencies -- asking him to prepare some of his men to be ready for large-scale infiltration into the valley.

The border in North Kashmir has witnessed large-scale infiltration in last fortnight which includes the one that led to a fierce encounter at Kupwara leading to killing of 18 LeT militants. Eight soldiers of Army's para commando unit including a Major were also killed during the encounter.

Muzamil is considered as one of the hardcore terrorists with very good knowledge of topography of Kashmir. Besides several suicide attacks, he is also wanted in connection with masterminding the Akshardham temple attack in 2002 at Gujarat.

His sudden surfacing on the terror network of Jammu and Kashmir has belied the claim of Pakistani authorities that he had been detained during a special operation following the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

Security agencies have also seen an increase of wireless traffic between terrorists in Kashmir and their handlers in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir thus breaking the three-month-long lull after 26/11.

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