Indian police detained three Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed operatives planning to execute an attack in Jammu and Kashmir who have been linked back to Pakistan’s notorious intelligence service. The men “planned to set off a massive explosion in India on the lines of the truck bomb that destroyed the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Sept. 20,” The Hindustan Times reported.
Indian police arrested the three men on Dec. 21 in Jammu and Kashmir after receiving intelligence of a major plot to conduct an attack inside India. One of the terrorists, Gulam Fareed, was identified as a Pakistani soldier. Fareed joined the Pakistani Army in 2001 and was a member of the al-Qaeda affiliate Harkat-ul-Jihad Islami prior to joining Jaish-e-Mohammed.
The Pakistani Army denied Fareed is an active duty soldier. An unnamed Pakistani official told Dawn that Fareed deserted the Army on June 6, 2008.
The three operatives trained in a terror camp outside of the military garrison city of Rawalpindi that is operated by Mufti Abdul Rauf, the brother of Jaish-e-Mohammed leader and founder Masood Azhar, Director-General of Police Kuldeep Khoda said during a press briefing. Azhar was placed under house arrest by Pakistani police after the late-November Mumbai terror assault.
Over the summer, the three-man terror cell was activated to conduct the attack inside India. “The trio was ordered in August to report to the Jaish’s Karachi office, located next to the Muleer army cantonment,” Khoda said. “One of them was trained to carry out a suicide attack by ramming an explosives-laden vehicle into a target.”
While in Karachi, two Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency operatives named Hamzala and Osama provided the Jaish operatives with visas and plane tickets to Bangladesh. On Sept. 15, the Jaish operatives arrived in Bangladesh and were met by an ISI officer named Nadeem who arranged for their travel into India. The operatives entered India on Dec. 18 and arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on Dec. 20, where they were to “get a consignment of arms and the location of their target from a local guide.”
Units from India’s Special Operations Group and a Central Reserve Police Force detained the men during a raid on Dec. 21.
The detention of the three Jaish operatives places more pressure on Pakistan to crack down on the multitude of terrorist groups and the elements within the intelligence and security services that support them.
Earlier this week, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative who was involved in the planning of the Mumbai assault said Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency supports the terror group’s operations inside India and Pakistan.
The United States and the United Nations have urged Pakistan to rein in the terror groups and purge the military and intelligence services that support them.
Pakistan has responded by placing Lashkar chief Hafiz Saeed under house arrest, detaining several Lashkar operatives, and shuttering the offices of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the front group for Lashkar. But Jamaat’s sprawling Muridke complex is still open and Hafiz is free to move about Lahore.
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