Yasin 'Bhatka'(l): Family differences gave birth to a radicalist

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Bangalore, Aug 30: One of the most dreaded terrorists, Yasin Bhatkal was like any other young boy helping his father in a garment business in Dubai. Born in an affluent business-class family, he had no dearth of food, clothes or luxury (unlike all extremists who turn to terrorism for money). Then, what steered him toward creating havoc and crisis all over the world?

Yasin was a born radical (thanks to his relatives and IM operatives Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal), and it was this radicalism that created differences between him and his father, which grew with time. He left Dubai and came back to India and almost immediately came in contact with his radical relatives. Thus, began the rise of India's most-wanted terrorist.

Initial days

He was active in the IM since the very beginning, impressing his relatives with his ideas and acumen for bomb-making and training others in the skill. The very first step that he took was to raise Rs 14 lakhs and investing it in a construction project. Intelligence agencies believe that this was just a cover-up to keep the funds for the organization coming.

Yasin and Riyaz had very different styles of working; while the former was steady in his approach, the latter was more aggressive, believing in challenging the government and taking ownership directly. As Yasin rose to power and took over reigns of the organisation, one could trace a great difference in its SOP. More subtle, their activities once in a while were strong enough to send the authorities on a frenzy.

The 'shooting' star

He shot to fame, by chance and not to his liking. He got named by the two operatives-Mohammad Saif and Ismail Choudhary-when they got arrested after the Delhi blasts. They revealed that they were taught to assemble a bomb by Yasin.

They further described how he had shifted base from Delhi, Karnataka and Maharshtra to set up a new base in Bihar so that he could get good resources from the frequent infiltrations there.

In Motihari

Yasin Bhatkal (L), the Indian Mujahideen mastermind and a key suspect in several terror blasts since 2008, and his aide Abdullah who have been arrested in a joint operation by the central intelligence agencies and the Bihar Police from India-Nepal border.

In Motihari

Yasin Bhatkal, the Indian Mujahideen mastermind and a key suspect in several terror blasts since 2008, is produced in a court along with an aide in Motihari on Thursday. Bhatkal was arrested in a joint operation by the central intelligence agencies and the Bihar Police from India-Nepal border.

In Ahmedabad

People protest against Yasin Bhatkal in Ahmedabad on Thursday. Bhatkal, the Indian Mujahideen mastermind and a key suspect in several terror blasts since 2008, has been arrested in a joint operation by the central intelligence agencies and the Bihar Police from India-Nepal border.

In Bengaluru

Members of Youth Congress along with Bengaluru blast victim Leesha holding a protest against wanted terrorist Yasin Bhatkal in Bengaluru on Thursday.

In New Delhi

YASIN BHATKAL Arrested.

In Motihari

Yasin Bhatkal, the Indian Mujahideen mastermind and a key suspect in several terror blasts since 2008, is produced in a court along with an aide in Motihari on Thursday. Bhatkal was arrested in a joint operation by the central intelligence agencies and the Bihar Police from India-Nepal border.

His close aid with Fasih Mahmood of Pakistan proved very useful in planning the blast in Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore and the Jama Masjid firing in 2010.

Horrendous plans

A class 10 fail, but an exceptionally shrewd motivator, recruiter, logistic provider, bomb maker and leader.HE did not mastermind many high-intensity blasts, but created impact with smaller and the disastrous ones.

He trained his forces and marshalled them to attack anywhere he wanted at the drop of a hint. He re-grouped the IM with the help of Mohammad Adil from Pakistan and gave a new direction to the terror outfit.

Restrained and focussed, he sent a heavy message through the 13/7 train blasts in Mumbai in 2006, the Delhi blasts in 2010, the Chinnaswamy stadium blasts in Bangalore in 2010, the German Bakery blast in Pune in 2010 and the Delhi high court blast in 2011.

In fact, security agencies believe that he had himself planted bombs at Pune's German Bakery in 2010 and in Hyderabad earlier this year.

Shifting his control from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia, he ensured that he covered all areas in India. He motivated the youth with the Batla House encounter case, which killed two terrorists, Atif Amin and Mohamed Sajid and two other Mohd Saif and Zeeshan got arrested.

Was Gujarat riots on his mind?

Yes, reveal the NIA after his arrest. A chargesheet submitted by them last month reveals that Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, jointly founded the IM at the end of 2003 to avenge the Muslims killed in the 2002 Gujarat riots. "They decided to carry out terror attacks across India with a view to terrorize...especially the majority community," said NIA.

Yasin's arrest on August 29 was a sign of relief for the intelligence agencies who have been tracking him down for the past six months. A master of disguises, he skipped the clutches of police almost 6 times.

India now wants justice for the dead and the injured!

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