Indoctrination of criminals for Jihad in Tihar Jail, LeT operative claims

If claims made by an arrested Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative are true then hardcore criminals got indoctrinated for jihad at the Tihar jail. Abdul Subhan, the alleged 42-year-old LeT operative arrested by Delhi Police on July 20, has revealed details about such indoctrination.

According to Subhan, who was arrested from the Sarai Kale Khan inter-state bus terminus, Asif Raza Khan alias Zaheer – a resident of Kolkata who was killed in an encounter, and his brother Amir were indoctrinated in Tihar.

Subhan said Maulana Masood Azhar and Mustaq Ahmed Zargar – the top leaders of terrorist outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed – had indoctrinated Asif and Amir inside Tihar. Asif and Amir later joined the LeT.

Subhan’s interrogation also revealed that Amir later became a founding member of the Indian Mujahideen, the banned terrorist outfit.

“He told the police that he has worked with Aftab Ahmed, a notorious criminal of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, who was then based in Dubai and is now in a Kolkata jail, and also with Asif and Amir,” a senior police officer said.

Subhan, who hails from Mewat in Haryana, joined LeT in 2001. He was arrested in the same year by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) following his linkage with a large haul of RDX and ammunition recovered from a truck from Patan in Gujarat.

Subhan was convicted for 10 years and came out of the Sabarmati jail in 2010 after completing a sentence of about eight years.

“After his release from jail, Subhan again went back to his old ways, and started indoctrinating and recruiting people from Mewat,” said an official.

According to the official, Subhan used religious congregations to spot youths for indoctrination.

“He was given a task to create a new LeT module in Mewat. Subhan used to impart his ideas of jihad after spotting a person and later used to reveal his identity as a hardcore LeT terrorist,” the official added.

Subhan visited Pakistan twice in 2012, and was tasked with recruiting young students from Mewat.

Officials said Subhan was in direct contact with LeT commanders like Javed Baluchi and intelligence head Ajam Cheema, reportedly based in Pakistan.

He was receiving instructions from these Pakistan-based operatives about the Mewat module.

According to the official, the Special Cell learnt about the Mewat module, which was planning to carry out terror strikes in India, in November and busted it with the arrest of Shahid and Rashid in December 2013.

The official said Subhan was coordinating with his nephew and LeT terrorist Asahbuddin, who is lodged in a Kolkata jail, to create the Mewat module.

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