NIA releases photos of Pathankot attack terrorists
Ahead of the visit by a Pakistani team to probe the terror attack at the Pathankot airbase, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday released the photographs of four terrorists killed during the counter-offensive, which began on January 2 and lasted for more than 80 hours.
A Special Investigation Team (SIT) from Pakistan is scheduled to visit India to ascertain the facts of the case and learnt about the probe carried out by the NIA.
The NIA’s handout featured the bodies of the four terrorists with a description of their height. The anti-terror probe agency has said that one of the terrorists did not have a toe in both the feet. The picture has been circulated and the public have been asked to share information about them.
The agency has already approached the Interpol to issue Black Notice against the four. The international notice is issued for the identification of unidentified bodies found in a country.
About the remaining two, the NIA was planning to approach another forensic laboratory for conducting a fresh test on the samples recovered from the Airmen billet at the Pathankot airbase. The forensic laboratory in Chandigarh had said that they had found human remains in the samples handed over by the NIA.
It will take some time before the identity of the remaining two terrorists was ascertained, an official source said, hinting the same may not be completed before the Pakistani SIT’s departure from India.
The SIT will be arriving here on March 27 and would be holding consultations with the NIA about the probe conducted so far, the sources said.
India has already sent a Letters Rogatory to Pakistan, seeking certain details about the four. India has been seeking details of the phone numbers dialled by the four terrorists ahead of the attack on the airbase on the intervening night of January 1 and 2.
The numbers are believed to be in the names of people connected with Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group, including Mullah Dadullah and Kashif Jaan. The numbers shared belong to the Pakistani telecom operators like Mobilink, Warid and Telenor.
The NIA has also sought the details and picture of the son of one Khayam Baber. According to sources, Baber’s son was part of the suicide squad that carried out the attack.
Kashif Jaan, one of the key handlers of the attackers, had accompanied the terrorists till the border, the sources said.
The bodies of four terrorists have been preserved. Of the four, two of them have been identified as Nasir and Salim.
Nasir was the one who had called his mother, Baber, in Bhawalpur using the phone snatched from the jeweller friend of a Superintendent of Police of Punjab Salwinder Singh.
The NIA has also given details, including the batch number of food packets used by the terrorists after infiltrating into India on December 30.
The terrorists had carefully buried the packets, which had Pakistani markings and manufacturing dates of November and December 2015, sources said.