Yasin Bhatkal 'betrayed' by Rs one lakh 'eidi' to wife

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Aug 31 2013, 01:47am hrs
Sending Rs one lakh home as an 'eidi' (gift) to his wife before the Eid festival early this month perhaps proved to be Yasin Bhatkal's undoing and gave away the Nepal hideout of one of India's most wanted terrorists.

This transfer of money, which was done through normal banking channels, alerted sleuths of Intelligence Bureau (IB) whose suspicions were aroused on the possible plans by Yasin Bhatkal to enter India to indulge in some terror attack or flee from Nepal's Pokhra area.

Increased surveillance led to the arrest of 30-year-old Yasin Bhatkal who is a co-founder of Indian Mujahideen(IM) at Indo-Nepal border at 5.30 AM yesterday bringing to an end a successful operation of the IB which developed a vast human network spanning from Delhi to Bihar and Nepal to nab the man wanted in two dozen blast cases.

Known as a ghost bomber, Yasin Bhatkal, who managed to give the slip to police after the terror attacks in which he was involved, told his interrogators during preliminary questioning that the money sent to his wife in India was meant for expenses for Eid festivities on August 9. The actual identity of Yasin Bhatkal, who is branded as the face of modern day terrorism, is Mohammed Ahmed Zarar Siddibaba.

Yasin, who also had another alias of "Shahrukh", told interrogators that he had visited Dubai in 2004 where he worked at a sports shop before leaving for Karachi, official sources said.

Yasin Bhatkal later went to Los Alamos in the New Mexico of the US before returning to India, the sources said.

Tracing Yasin Bhatkal's terror career, the sources said that he had allegedly supplied explosive material to suspected IM bomb planters in the 2008 Delhi and Ahmedabad blasts.

Information about the whereabouts of Yasin Bhatkal between 2006, the year of Mumbai serial train blasts for which he was allegedly responsible, and 2008 were not available but security agencies suspect he could have flown out of the country to avoid arrests.

Now in 12-day custody of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), Yasin Bhatkal had been earlier arrested by Kolkata police in 2009 in connection with a case pertaining to Fake Indian Currency Notes. The sources said he managed to come out on bail.

Wanted in 2008 Ahmedabad and Delhi blasts, German Bakery blasts (2010), Chinnaswamy Stadium and triple blasts at Mumbai in 2011 and in Dadar Kabutarkhana bomb blasts, Yasin Bhatkal's questioning may throw more light on 2010 Jamia Masjid blast ahead of Commonwealth games and Cyberabad blasts. Scores of people have lost their lives in the bomb blasts in which Bhatkal was allegedly involved.

A combined team of intelligence agencies was questioning Yasin Bhatkal in the national capital.