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Why getting JeM chief's nephew and Pulwama mastermind is crucial now

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Srinagar, Feb 19: The Jaish-e-Mohammad is probably one of the most lethal terrorist groups in Jammu and Kashmir. The group is known to carry out big attacks and their target has always been the Indian Armed forces.

Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar

The investigations that have been conducted into the Pulwama attack point clearly towards the role of Mohammad Umair, considered to be the mastermind of the attack. He is incidentally the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief, Maulana Masood Azhar.

Also Read | How the Jammu-Srinagar highway became a hub of Jaish-e-Mohammad activity

Now a man hunt has been launched for Umair, who is still believed to be hiding in the Valley.

The mastermind identified as Mohammad Umair is still operating in the Pulwama area. An Intelligence Bureau official informed that he had overseen the entire attack and was also the one who masterminded it.

Umair is the nephew of Jaish-e-Mohamamd chief, Maulana Masood Azhar. He was sent into Kashmir after another nephew of Azhar, who went by the name Usman Haider was killed in an encounter. It may be recalled that Talha Rashid, also a nephew of the Jaish chief was killed in an encounter with the security forces in 2016.

According to officials, Umair was trained in Afghanistan. An officer says that this explains why the nature of the attack was such. Vehicle ramming with bombs are reported from countries such as Afghanistan and Syria. In the aftermath of the attack, security officials had raised concerns about this style of attack and warned that it could become a norm.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that getting to Umair is crucial. Since he entered the Valley, he has managed to recruit several locals and also overseen the infiltration of many Pakistani terrorists. The agencies believe that there are nearly 30 JeM operatives in the Valley.

An Intelligence Bureau official informed OneIndia that the Jaish-e-Mohammad was keen that the attacker is a local and hence they had picked Adil Dar for the job. One of the main reasons for using a local was to give Pakistan the deniability factor. Further, it was also aimed at inspiring more locals and lure them into terror. There have been complaints by the local terrorists that they are given menial jobs in comparison to the ones undertaken by their Pakistani counterparts.

Also Read | Have fulfilled sanctions on Jaish-e-Mohammad says Pakistan

Before the equipment was brought into the Valley, Dar underwent extensive training and even carried out several dry runs.

Investigations suggest that nearly 80 kilograms of RDX was used in the attack. The probe agencies are still trying to ascertain as how to so much explosive was fitted into a vehicle.

At first it was said that the vehicle used by the bomber, Adil Dar was a Scorpio. However further investigations pointed out that a Red Eeco vehicle was used in the attack.

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