New Delhi, March 24: Banned terror outfit Indian Mujahideen’s expert bomb maker Zia Ur Rehman, alias Waqas, who was arrested by Delhi Police Friday from Rajasthan, had taken 46 days’ training in Pakistan, a senior police official said Monday.
Waqas, 25, a Pakistani national, did his training in two parts – 21 days and 25 days – at different locations in Pakistan in 2009 in camps run by terror outfits, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, said Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) S.N. Srivastava.
According to Srivastava, Waqas during his interrogation revealed that the training sessions took place before he carried out his first bomb explosion following shootout outside Delhi’s Jama Masjid on Sep 19, 2010.
Two Taiwanese tourists were injured in the incident outside Gate No.3 of Jama Masjid.
“First time in 2009, Waqas was sent for 21 days’ training at the Naushera camp of Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in Pakistan. As he was not satisfied with his training, he was again sent for 25 days’ training at a Waziristan-based camp ‘Margas e Aksa’ in the end of 2009,” Srivastava told IANS.
The official said that these training sessions were called “daur-e-aam” and “daur-e-khas” by IM members.
Waqas’s first training was organised by Taz Mohammed, who collected donations on behalf of the frontal charity organisation of the LeT, the Jamat-ud-Dawa.
“Just after completing his diploma in food technology from Faisalabad in Pakistan, Waqas want to join ‘jihad’ and came in contact with Taz Mohammed. To test his enthusiasm for jihad, Taz Mohammed accepted Waqas’s request to provide him training,” said Srivastava.
Waqas, along with 20 other young men in the age group of 19 to 20, was sent for his first 21-day “daur-e-aam” training that was carried out between 5.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, he said.
Waqas told his interrogators that the boys went for prayers after getting up early, had breakfast and then were imparted religious teaching at a mosque.
From 10 a.m. to 12 noon, they were given training in handling various guns, including Insas rifles, followed by shooting practice between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The trainers were IM and LeT operatives, including Abu Bakar, Abdullah, Naim, Azhar and Asan.
As Waqas was not satisfied with his first training session, he met Abdul Rehman, who belonged to Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), and requested him for another round of training.
Rehman arranged for his second training, “daur-e-khas”, at a training camp located in Waziristan. Here Waqas received intensive training in handling arms and ammunition.
“For first 10 days, Waqas was given training to assemble explosive devices using chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide, potassium chloride and ammonium nitrate,” said the official.
The next 10 days were devoted to assembling electronic circuits and time-bombs. In the remaining five days, he was taken to hilly areas where he was imparted stamina training.
Waqas was involved in the 2010 bombing at Varanasi’s Sheetla Ghat during the evening ‘aarti’, the cooker bomb blast outside Jama Masjid in Delhi the same year, the 2011 serial bombings in Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, Opera House and Dadar West, as well as the 2012 low-intensity blasts in Pune, and the twin bombings in Hyderabad in 2013.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)