If the timer on his bomb had not failed, hundreds would have been murdered. But honor would have been restored.
MUMBAI: Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist Yasin Bhatkal organized the attack on Delhi’s Jama Masjid in 2010 as he was upset with tourists entering the mosque in skimpy clothes. This is what Yasin told the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following his arrest from the India-Nepal border last year.
Yasin had not discussed the plan with IM chief Riyaz Bhatkal before the attack, the NIA interrogation report to the Centre said.
Two terrorists on a bike opened shot at tourists at Jama Masjid on September 19, 2010, and Yasin parked an explosive-laden car near the mosque to ensure maximum damage. But the timer on the bomb failed, saving hundreds of lives. Two Taiwanese tourists were injured in the firing.
IM founder Riyaz Bhatkal had apparently instructed Yasin to target prominent places in Delhi on the anniversary of Batla House encounter and also sent terror operatives including Waqqas and Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez to help Yasin.
Yasin arranged a rented accommodation for the two at Shastri Park in Delhi and himself lived at Shaheen Bagh. He told NIA that he along with an accomplice Qaiser alias Chhotoo visited Jama Masjid on July 15, 2009 and was incensed to find some Russian woman tourists dancing in “objectionable clothes” in the rain inside the mosque. They were “reduced to tears” by the scene, Yasin claimed, adding he hatched the Jama Masjid attack “to teach the tourists a lesson”.
Yasin procured weapons from Delhi and bought 20 kg potassium nitrate and other chemicals from Anand Parbat area; with the chemicals, he made the bombs at his hideout, he told investigators. Yasin stole a bike from Gandhi Nagar to be used by Waqqas and Tabrez and also picked up a Maruti car from the same area. He tried to steal another car but dropped the plan after its alarm went off, he told NIA.
Yasin and his associates decided to target Gate 3 of Jama Masjid as most tourists entered from there. Accordingly, he parked the bomb-laden car near the gate and walked away towards Lal Qila bus stand where his accomplice Irshad waited for him in a car, NIA officers said, adding they drove back to Shaheen Bagh. The two shooters also returned to their hideout after the firing. The two hung a white handkerchief outside their home to indicate to Yasin who visited the spot the next day that the operation was successful.
It was only three days later that Yasin informed Riyaz about the attack and the IM founder apparently got angry with him for targeting a Muslim-dominated area after keeping him in dark.