IM did recce of 11 Mumbai spots for strikes, says ATS
A startling dislosure by arrested Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal that his outfit carried out recce of nearly a dozen spots in Mumbai last month has prompted Maharashtra Police to step up security.
A confidential report prepared by Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS) with its chief Rakesh Maria’s signature, read that members of the home-grown terror outfit have carried out reconnaissance of at least 11 possible targets including four synagogues in the city in early August.
The report was prepared after Bhatkal and his associate Asadullah Akhtar made these revelations during interrogation by security agencies.
The possible targets are Mumbai police commissionerate, Zaveri Bazaar, Kalbadevi/Mangaldas Market/Lohar chawl, Crawford Market, Mumbai Central Railway station, Mumbai Central Bus depot, Mumbadevi Mandir, Magen David Synagogue, located next to state ATS headquarters at Nagpada area, Magen Hassidim Synagogue in Agripada area, Shaare Rason synagogue in Dongri and Shaar Harahamim synagogue in Pydhonie.
Describing these locations as ‘vulnerable’, the report read, ‘Interrogation of arrested accused Yasin Bhatkal and Asadullah Akhtar have revealed that Jewish and other locations in Mumbai were recced by their operatives in the first week of August, 2013’.
‘It is requested to ensure that no unidentified object is allowed to be placed in or around the potential targets apart from other professional steps to thwart any such terror attack in Mumbai and around.’
In view of this, a thick security blanket has been thrown in and around these locations.
On 29 August, Bhatkal, co-founder of banned terror outfit IM, wanted in around 40 blast cases and carrying a reward of Rs.35 lakh, was arrested from Indo-Nepal border, in the second prize catch after LeT mastermind Abdul Karim Tunda in the second week of the same month. Bhatkal had been arrested along with key aide Asadulla Akhtar alias ‘Haddi’.