It is now confirmed that a terrorist by the name Abu Ismail masterminded the attack on the Amarnath yatra in which seven persons were killed. Ismail is part of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and is a resident of Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
It was an attack that was plotted in the shortest span of time. It was a revenge attack the Inspector General of Police, Jammu and Kashmir, Munir Khan said. While investigations are still on, Intelligence Bureau officials say that following the gunning down of Bashir Lashkari, the commander of the Lashkar in the Valley, it was decided an attack of such a magnitude must be carried out.
Ismail in his mid 30s has been part of the Lashkar for the past seven years now. He is part of a camp comprising 200 terrorists who have been training to launch attacks in India. IB officials say that the investigations so far suggest that Ismail had activated the over ground operatives of the Lashkar in the Valley to carry out the attack. While the number of attackers is still not clear, police suspect that there would have been 5 to 6 of them.
Ismail apart from activating his over ground operatives also got in touch with some locals of the Hizbul Mujahideen. The cadres of the Hizbul had helped in logistics which were in turn shared with the Lashkar. The local Hizbul operatives are more familiar with the area, officials also say.
The probe also shows that the Lashkar wanted to take some of the pilgrims hostage. A reconnaissance of the route was conducted for three days. The signal to carry out the attack could have been given on Monday itself. It may be recalled that the police busted a major module of the Lashkar on Monday and the attack could have been timed with this, officials also point out.
It is clear that Ismail had directed his operatives to carry out a major strike on the yatris. The plan was to barge into the bus, kill as many as possible and also take a few hostage, investigations so far have revealed.