Mumbai: Yasin Bhatkal, besides his planning and strategising for specific operations, has also been important for the Indian Mujahideen (IM) because of his skills in indoctrination and recruitment of youths. “His most important quality is to identify the potential recruits, motivate them and prepare them for big operations,” said an investigator who had questioned several IM arrested recruits.
For instance, Mansoor Peerbhoy, a software engineer, arrested for sending terror emails before and after the July 26, 2008 Ahmedabad and Surat bomb blasts, was not an easy man to be convinced. “However, Yasin who met Peerbhoy as Waseem, motivated him to give up his Rs 19-lakh-per-annum job and follow Yasin’s footsteps,” said the officer.
For 13/7 blasts accused, Naqi Ahmed and Nadeem Akhtar, Yasin was a religious teacher, Maulana Imran. “He used to teach students at a religious structure where the two first met him in 2010. During their meetings, they tried to argue about various things in Islam but were always defeated and convinced by Maulana,” said a Mahrashtra ATS officer.
Yasin’s bigger skill was to identify potential targets. “He would travel a lot. He went to Gujarat, Kolkata, various parts of Karnatka, Chennai, half of Mahrashtra, Delhi, Bihar, Rajasthan, Andhara Pradesh etc,” said investigators.
In 1998, Yasin dropped out from a local school in Bhatkal and joined a religious institution to become an Aalim (an Arabic graduate). There he met the Bhatkal brothers somewhere in 2002. “The trio discussed the Gujarat riots and decided to do something big. Knowing his inclination towards the radical thoughts, his father took him to Dubai. But he soon fled to Pakistan for training,” said a police officer.
The Times of India, August 31, 2013