13/7 BLASTS PROBE
Mumbai: Investigations into 13/7 triple blasts have revealed that two bombers, including suspected Pakistani national Waqqas, had recceed Wankhede stadium in south Mumbai during the 2011 IPL matches. But they could not carry out the plan in or around the stadium due to multi-layer police security.
Sources in the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) said arrested Indian Mujahideen (IM) suspect Asadullah Akhtar alias Haddi alias Tabrez told the police about the two reccees in 2011.
“On April 20, 2011, Waqqas bought a ticket for the IPL match between Mumbai Indians and Pune Warriors. He recceed the stadium and found tight security. Two days later, Waqqas and Tabrez recceed the stadium gates during the match between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings. But due to heavy police deployment, they dropped the plan to target the stadium,” said Rakesh Maria, ATS chief.
On July 13, 2011, three blasts ripped through Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Kabutarkhana in Dadar, killing 27. An officer said on the day of the blasts, IM senior functionary Yasin Bhatkal and wanted accused Tahseen Shaikha alias Monu, who planted the bomb at Kabutarkhana, took a cab from Dadar to Kurla station and then boarded a train to Kasara. “From Kasara they took a train to Nashik, and then went to Bihar. They got the news of the blasts while travelling,” he said.
The police said Tabrez fled from India in 2008, after the Batla House encounter in Delhi. “Tabrez escaped to Bangladesh and from there went to Dubai and later to Karachi. There he was trained by the Lashkar-e-Taiba in 2009, and met Waqqas through Riyaz. Waqqas and Tabrez crossed over the border in August 2010,” said the officer.
Prior to the 13/7 blasts, Yasin, Waqqas and Tabrez had also recceed beaches in Goa, said the ATS. Waqqas and Tabrez had arrived in Mumbai in February 2011, while Yasin had already arranged a flat for them at Byculla a fortnight ago.
The Times of India, February 12,2014