Kashmir, Aug 6: Mohammad Naved and Noman who carried out the Udhampur attack yesterday were handled by a local operative in Kashmir who is of Pakistani origin. Investigators have found a local link to the attack and the possibility of a Kashmir based Lashkar-e-Tayiba militant was handling the two terrorists has not been ruled out.
There is always a local link to such attacks and it is highly impossible that two terrorists from another country can walk around and carry out such a precise attack with such ease, an investigator informed OneIndia.
The local link to the Udhampur attack:
Investigators have found that a person by the name Abu al-Kasim an operative of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba was the one who handled both Naved and Noman.
During the questioning Naved took the name of Abu and we are ascertaining whether he is the same man who is on the records of the Jammu and Kashmir police and also the Intelligence Bureau.
It appears as though the local handler came into the picture once Noman and Naved landed in Kashmir. We believe that they landed here nearly 2 weeks back, an officer informed.
We are trying to get details as to who the other locals were who helped the terrorists infiltrate and also carry out this attack.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that his claim on the local handler needs to be verified. Abu Hamza and Abu Kasim are the most common names used by terrorists in the Kashmir region.
There have been several such Abu Kasims and Abu Hamzas in the past. Naved's claim that two days prior to the attack he was briefed by his handler on the targets is also being verified by the police and the Intelligence Bureau.
The local handler:
The local handler of the two terrorists being referred to is not of Indian origin. If the man Abu referred to by Naved is indeed the one who is in the records of the Indian Intelligence agencies, then he is a Pakistani national. He has been missing from the radar of the Indian Intelligence agencies for nearly an year now.
According to the information revealed by Naved, he had met with Abu on August 3 at Khudwani which is in Ananthnag district following which they proceeded towards Udhampur.
We feel that the handler could have picked the target for the two youth and they could have been guided by their handler. However this information is what has been gathered as part of our preliminary investigation, the investigating officer says.
The Pakistanis have used the local link very sparingly. The indoctrination and the training has all taken place in Pakistan. The local handler would have given last minute information on the target, the official also adds.
Waited an hour before the attack:
Naved further told his interrogators that he along with Noman waited at least an hour before they launched the attack. The BSF convoy was in reach and hence they carried out the attack. He said that they had planned on taking at least one soldier of the BSF hostage, but were unable to. Noman was shot down and this had weakened them, he also revealed.
Further, he speaks about the training programme that he underwent in Pakistan. He was training with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba for over a year. However before he was launched into India, he underwent a very rigorous training programme for 20 days, he also revealed.