Fidayeen strike planned for Delhi, says police after quizzing suspect

New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) Delhi Police Friday claimed to have averted a ‘fidayeen’ (suicide) terror attack in the capital with the arrest of a suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist. A local court has sent the suspected terrorist to 15 days’ police remand.

Sayyed Liyaqat Shah, 47, a resident of Dardpora village in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, was arrested from Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur March 20.
“Shah entered Kathmandu on a fake passport provided by his Pakistan handlers. He took a flight from Karachi to Kathmandu. Thereafter, he crossed Sunauli border and reached Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur from where he was arrested,” said S.N. Srivastava, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell).
On specific intelligence received on March 19 regarding a ‘fidayeen’ attack in Delhi, a police team was deployed at the India-Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh’s Gorakhpur and Tanakpur in Uttarakhand, added the officer.
During interrogation, Shah revealed that he was instructed to destroy all the passports upon arrival in Kathmandu so that when he and his family entered India, there would be no evidence of any Pakistani connection.
Shah was told to contact a person, related to Hizbul Mujahideen cadre, in a guest house in Delhi’s Jama Masjid area who was to provide him arms and ammunition for carrying out the attack in Delhi.
Going by his confession, police were able to recover an AK-56 assault rifle, three hand grenades, two magazines — each carrying 30 round cartridges, 220 grams of explosives, a Delhi map and a memory card from one of the rooms of a hotel in Jama Masjid area in Delhi on the intervening night of March 21-22.
But, police could not find the person whom Shah was to meet as he had already left the hotel. They are on his trail.
“Shah’s task was to draw up a workable plan by selecting the best possible target where maximum casualties could be inflicted and the chances of early neutralisation of the cadre were limited,” said the officer.
“Shah was to go back to his village in Kupwara district after the Delhi attack where he was told to recruit new members and facilitate their cross-border travel to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK),” Srivastava said.
The ‘fidayeen’ attack was planned in a meeting, in early January 2013, of Muttahida Jihad Council (MJC).
“After the meeting, Ghazi Nasiruddin, a senior commander of Hizbul Mujahideen, and Farooq Qureshi informed Shah that he had been chosen to supervise young fidayeen recruits who would commit terrorist strikes in Delhi,” said the officer.
This is the 18th module of Hizbul to be smashed in Delhi between 2001 and 2013 and 28 terrorists have been arrested so far. The last module was busted in 2011.
Shah, who made talismans, entered the world of militancy in 1993 after the killing of his elder brother in a terror strike.
“Shah was also involved in an encounter in 1994. After that he fled and became a commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen. In 1997 he went to Pakistan and got training there. He is wanted in a 2011 case in Kashmir,” said the officer.