The rise and fall of India's deadliest bomber Yasin Bhatkal
Bengaluru, Dec 14: A motivator, recruiter, logistic provider, bomb maker and then a leader. This is how the Intelligence Bureau dossier on Yasin Bhatkal describes him. One of the most dangerous terrorists, India has ever witnessed, Yasin Bhatkal was on Tuesday handed out his first ever conviction by a special National Investigation Agency court in connection with the Hyderabad Dilsukhnagar blasts case.
Whether he will hang or lead the rest of his life in jail is something that the court would decide on December 19 when it delivers its verdict on the quantum of sentence. Yasin Bhatkal's rise in the Indian Mujahideen was a phenomenal one.
From a simple sales boy who helped his father out in his garment business, Yasin went on to become one of the most prolific bomber and leader the dreaded Indian Mujahideen had ever seen.
The rise of Yasin Bhatkal:
Born on January 15, 1983, Yasin hails from the coastal town of Bhatkal in Karnataka. He is closely related to the founders of the Indian Mujahideen, Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal. Yasin's birth name is Ahmad Zarar Siddibaba. He uses various aliases such as Shah Rukh Khan, Sivanand, and Dr Imran, to mention a few.
He never spent too much time in his home town. He had left for Dubai to help his father with his garment business. It is here that he is said to have been radicalised by Riyaz. A change in his attitude led to a major rift with his father following which he left Dubai.
After returning to India he began working for the IM. He was tasked with the responsibility of raising funds. He started a construction business which acted as a front for his fund raising project. The dossier says that he raised Rs 14 lakh in quick time. It is said that along with an operative from West Bengal, he raised the money through a fake currency racket.
Yasin was then taught how to make bombs. He is said to have mastered this in quick time. Investigations show that for every blast that he planned, it was he who prepared the bombs. He was considered to be one of the best in the business.
The re-birth of the Indian Mujahideen:
Being a behind the scenes operative, he never came directly under the radar of the agencies. When the first major crack down on the Indian Mujahideen took place almost the entire top rung of the Indian Mujahideen were either arrested or went missing. Riyaz, Iqbal and Abdus Subhan fled India and took shelter in Pakistan. Several operatives were arrested.
The IM was in tatters and everyone had assumed that the outfit was dead. Yasin Bhatkal along with his accomplices Waqas, Assadullah Akthar, Tahseen Akthar and Ajaz Shaikh decided to breathe fresh life into the outfit. Their modus opera DI was a simple one. They decided that the IM would be run by a small team. They never spoke on the phone to avoid getting tapped. All communications were face to face and this helped the outfit carry out a series of attacks without being detected.
Unlike the old team, Yasin did not believe in sending emails, calling operatives or even claiming responsibility for the attacks. He realised activities of the IM were checked earlier, as the operatives challenged agencies head on. Yasin believed that attacks should be carried out at regular intervals and it is the attack that should convey the message.
Yasin played a vital role in planning and executing 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, Mumbai serial blasts in 2011 and the Dilsukhnagar blasts in 2013.
The fall of Yasin Bhatkal:
Differences began to crop up between Yasin and his mentor Riyaz. Yasin complained that Riyaz was leading a comfortable life in Karachi while he continued to do the dirty work on the streets.
Further Yasin also felt that the IM should not report to the ISI. The ISI has no ideology he felt. He decided to take Riyaz head on and this had led to differences between the two.
Yasin however walked into a trap. With the fights increasing within the IM, Riyaz decided to patch things up. He advised Yasin to meet him in Pakistan and iron out the differences. While he was attempting to enter Pakistan through the Nepal border he was arrested by the Indian Intelligence Bureau officials. The man who had never made one call during his operations decided to call his wife just before he was about to cross over into Pakistan. This call was intercepted and the officials moved quickly to nab him. There is an unconfirmed report that information about his movements may have been leaked by someone within the IM.