"Bhatkal has revealed that the plan is to convert an oil-carrying goods train into a mega-bomb," a counter terror official told HT requesting anonymity. "Once one wagon explodes due to an IED (improvised explosive device) blast, other wagons will also blow up, turning the goods train into a big firestorm." One can easily imagine the devastation such a train bomb would cause at a busy railway station, the official said.
The IM, sources said, had already conducted initial experiments when Bhatkal and his aide, Asadullah Akhtar, were picked up by Indian counter-terror officials from Pokhra in Nepal and formally arrested at the Indo-Nepal border on August 29.
Two IM operatives Tehseen Akhtar, alias Monu, and Waqas were preparing magnetic IEDs when their hideout in Mangalore, Karnataka was raided after Bhatkal's arrest. "More than 50 magnets were found at the hideout. When Yasin was asked about the magnets, he revealed the whole plan - of fabricating the IEDs with magnets and sticking them on oil tankers." The outfit was also planning to convert oil tanker lorries into ‘smaller' bombs, said the official.
Monu and Waqas are on the run. Security agencies last spotted Monu in Pushkar, Rajasthan, working as a tourist guide.