5 vital mobile phones of terror attack plotters seized19 October 2011
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: In a significant breakthrough in September 7 Delhi blast, the National Investigating Agency (NIA) has seized five mobile telephones of Wasim Akram Malik, a Medical student, his two relatives and two associates from Kishtwar and Jammu but another mobile telephone and a laptop used by him at Dhaka, Bangladesh remained untraced. The NIA team last night videographed and photographed the hideouts of Malik and his associates, which had been used in hatching a conspiracy of Delhi blast, in Kishtwar. Malik, who had been flown to Kishtwar from New Delhi in a special helicopter by the NIA yesterday, was taken back this morning in the same chopper after videography while a NIA team was staying in Kishtwar searching for more clues. With his face covered, Malik was taken around Kishtwar in a civil vehicle in search of Junaid Akram Malik, his brother and some other associates but no arrests were made. Malik was flown to Kishtwar since the NIA was running against time as his 15 days remand was due to be completed on October 21 after which he could be sent to judicial custody. Three more accused in the blast-Junaid Akram Malik, brother of Wasim, a Medical student at Dhaka, Aamir Malik alias Akram and Jehangir Saroori, all three Hizbul Mujahideen militants-were on hit list of the NIA but they couldnít be traced. Police and NIA had reports that Aamir Malik and Saroori had left for inaccessible heights of Kishtwar while there were doubts over the movement of Junaid, who could be anywhere. Official sources told the Excelsior that the NIA team during searches at Bhatindi and Kishtwar residences of Wasim and his relatives seized three mobile phones, which had been used by him from August 27 to September 8 to call different persons. Two other seized mobile telephones belonged to Abid Hussain and Hafiz Aamir Abbas Dev, two Kishtwar students, who have already been arrested by the NIA in connection with Delhi blast and terror emails sent thereafter. Abid and Dev were arrested from Kishtwar while Wasim was nabbed from IGI Airport, New Delhi soon after he landed in the capital from Dhaka. Sources said the NIA has immediately handed over all five mobile telephones and SIM cards used therein to its cyber cell for extracting data from them. The investigators believed that mobile phones would give the NIA some significant clues, which could give the agency vital clues about the blast and establish involvement of arrested persons in the terror attack on September 7 that killed 15 civilians and injured 80 others. Sources said though vital data had been deleted from all five mobile telephones, the cyber experts were capable of retrieving it. The mobile phones could also give some leads about involvement of more persons in facilitating the blast. According to sources, an abandoned house where Malik brothers along with Aamir Malik, Jehangir Saroori, Abid Hussain and Aamir Abbas Dev had reportedly held a meeting to give a final shape to the blast and email to be sent later was reportedly videographed and photographed by the NIA. Some other suspected hideouts used by the terror attack plotters in Kishtwar were also videographed and photographed last night before Wasim was taken back to Delhi. The NIA had also taken the help of Kishtwar police in facilitating videography and photography of suspected hideouts besides seizure of mobile telephones. However, according to sources, the NIA, which had established contact with Dhaka Police for its assistance in questioning some students of Wasimís college at Shylet in northeast of Dhaka, hasnít been able to trace a laptop and mobile telephone of Wasim Akram Malik. The associates of Wasim have confirmed that he was in possession of the laptop but it hasnít been found so far. Also, a mobile telephone used by Wasim in Dhaka was also not traced as he had landed at the IGI Airport without a mobile phone. The investigators feared that Wasim might have destroyed his laptop and mobile phone, used in Dhaka before returning to Delhi or handed over them to Bangladeshi militants, involved with him in terror strike. As reported, at least three Bangladeshi nationals were reportedly involved in executing the terror strike along with Malik brothers and other militants. The Bangladeshis had visited New Delhi, Jammu and Kishtwar along with Wasim Akram Malik but were reported to have left the country after the blast like Wasim. 'As of now, the names of militants which have surfaced in the terror plot, belonged to Harkat-ul-Jehad Islami (HuJI), Hizbul Mujahideen and Jaish-e-Mohammed outfits, making it unclear that which outfit was exactly behind the blastíí, sources said. While Abid Hussain and Hafiz Aamir Abbas Dev had their affiliation to HuJI, Malik brothers, Jehangir Saroori and Aamir Malik alias Akram belonged to Hizbul Mujahideen. A couple of new names, disclosed by Wasim, were linked to Jaish outfit. The absconding Bangladeshis also belonged to HuJI outfit. The email sent after the blast had claimed responsibility of terror attack on the name of HuJI outfit. The mail had been sent from Global Cyber Caf√© in Kishtwar. Sources said the investigating agency is expecting a breakthrough in the case soon. Azhar Ali, an Over Ground Worker of Hizb, who is in high security Kot Bhalwal Jail since 2009, gave information about Wasim. An NIA team had questioned Ali, arrested for alleged involvement in recruiting people from Kishtwar area besides securing SIM cards for the outfit, which had been distributed among several OGWs of Hizbul outfit. Azhar was supplier of SIM cards of a private telecom company. The NIA team has so far questioned two students including a girl, both hailing from Kishtwar, about the conduct of Wasim Akram, in Dhaka during its brief visit to Bangladesh capital. Both students have been let off after the NIA team, which was provided assistance by the Bangladesh authorities, found nothing to back their investigation, the sources said.