Kandahar ‘chief’ hijacker behind plot to abduct Rahul Gandhi
- India to convey concerns over Ladakh incursion to Chinese Premier
- IPL spot-fixing case: Delhi Police to trace money trail in four cities
- IPL 2013 LIVE SCORE: Mumbai Indians bowl, Sachin Tendulkar misses out
- Rajapaksa slams Tamil diaspora for lack of support in reconciliation process
- 5 differently abled orphan girls beaten, raped in Jaipur residential school
Eight years after he had India on tenterhooks for a week, IC-814 principal hijacker Ibrahim Athar, referred to as "chief" during the hijack, has reappeared on the Indian terror scene as the mastermind, facilitator and trainer of the foiled Jaish-e-Mohammed operation to abduct Rahul Gandhi.
Younger brother of Jaish head Maulana Masood Azhar, the dangerous Athar is learnt to have imparted training to the three militants — Mohammed Abid, Yusuf and Mirza Rashid — nabbed by UP police. While Rahul Gandhi was the main target, the other two high profile politicians on the list were former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Leader of Opposition L K Advani.
It's learnt that the three operatives have revealed that they were imparted training for close to three months under personal guidance of Athar at a camp near Sialkot in Pakistan. They were shown videos of these leaders and some other lower profile politicians as part of their training programme.
Security agencies have been receiving inputs on groups like Jaish working on such a plot since last year. As reported in The Sunday Express on October 8 last year, the Centre had ordered a complete security review of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and son Rahul after such inputs. This was around the time when the UP poll campaign was set to pick up pace and the two had hectic travel schedules planned for them.
While the UP campaign went off incident-free with the Special Protection Group stepping up security to unprecedented levels, alarm bells rang again when reliable information came early this year that a secret meeting had happened in Berlin between Sikh militant groups and the Lashkar-e-Toiba at the behest of Pakistan-based handlers.
That meeting, sources said, is said to have again focused on abduction as a strategy to obtain release of key militants, including Parliament attack accused Mohammed Afzal. This was also the first time that Robert Vadra's name appeared on the list.
- Destitute, orphan students outclass rest in Andhra Class 10 exams
- To re-energise ties, PM wants to visit US, waits for confirmation
- NIA court says no terror link, frees 'Hizbul militant' Liyaqat on bail
- CBI arrests its coal allotments investigator on bribery charge
- ‘Cricketer-bookie Amit may have used Jiju to reach Sree’
- BCCI chief N Srinivasan says police must prove spot-fixing allegations