Pak’s terror policy allowed JeM deposit Pulwama attack money in 2 of its largest banks
New Delhi, Aug 28: The chargesheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the Pulwama attack says that the money which was used for the attack was credited in the Meezan Bank in Peshwar, Pakistan.
Meezan on its website says it is a premier Islamic bank which 800 branches across Pakistan. It further says that it has the widest range of Halal Banking products and an internationally renowned Shariah Board.
This bank is the 8th largest in Pakistan and the first and largest Islamic Bank in the country. It is the only Islamic Bank with an AA credit rating in the Islamic banking industry in Pakistan.
While Pakistan tries to get out of the grey list at the Financial Action Task Force, it would have plenty to answer about its role in terror funding. The Jaish-e-Mohammad being able to park money in a valid bank for an act of terror on Indian soil itself raises doubts about Pakistan's sincerity in fighting terror.
An Intelligence Bureau official says that this only shows Pakistan's seriousness in fighting terror. The very fact that the JeM was able to deposit money in recognised banks only shows that the country has been brazen about the whole issue and has deliberately not tracked any money trail.
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- After hearing an October 2018 Azhar speech, Dar offered himself as Pulwama bomber
- From nothing to 13,500 pages: How NIA prepared the detailed Pulwama chargesheet
The officer also says that the very fact that the JeM was planning another attack after Pulwama only shows that the outfit is completely blessed by the establishment. It was only after the Balakot strike did they decide to hold back, the IB officer also noted.
In its chargesheet, the NIA had said that Rs 10 lakh had been received by prime accused, Mohammad Umar Farooq, nephew of the JeM chief, Maulana Masood Azhar for carrying out the attack. The NIA learnt that Rs 10 lakh in Pakistan currency was credited into the three accounts of Farooq, who is the main accused in the case. The money was credited in the Meezan Bank in Pakistan days before the attack.
With India ready to cite this instance of how Pakistan is allowing terrorists to park money in recognised banks in the country, Pakistan will have tough questions to answer during the September 27 meet of the FATF. The FATF would review Pakistan's delivery on the 27 point action plan to curb terror funding, following which a final decision on whether it stays in the grey list or is moved to the black list will be taken in October.
Further during the probe, the NIA also learnt that money was also deposited into Umar's account in the Allied Bank in Khyber Agency. This is the fifth largest commercial bank in Pakistan and is a subsidiary of the Ibrahim Group. The bank is one of the largest in Pakistan and has over 1,350 websites.
The NIA chargesheet says that the money was deposited in the account by the top leadership of the JeM between January and February 2019.
A major part of the money, around Rs 2.80 lakh was used to procure 200 kilograms of explosives that included ammonium nitrate.
The 200 kilograms of explosives comprised of a lethal concoction of RDX brought from Pakistan, gelatin sticks procured by Mudasir Ahmad, four kilograms of Aluminium powder bought on Amazon by accused Wazi Ul Islam and Calcium Ammonium Nitrate. The IED was fitted into the Eeco car in two containers weighing 160 kilogram and 40 kilograms to trigger the blast, the NIA also said.
Shakir Bashir had collected the explosives and stocked it at his home. Further, the terrorists spent Rs 2.5 lakh to purchase and modify the car that was used in the attack. The car was parked at the home of Bashir. A part of the money was also spent to purchase containers to fabricate the IEDs, the NIA also said.
Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorist Adil Ahmad Dar, who was driving the car laden with explosives, had rammed it into the convoy killing 40 CRPF personnel and grievously injuring eight others.
"Accused Shakir Bashir, Insha Jan, Peer Tariq Ahmad Shah and Bilal Ahmad Kuchey provided all logistics and harboured the JeM terrorists in their houses," the NIA said.