Ticket, black beauty – IM used code words to plan attacks

New Delhi, March 30: Ticket, reservation, agency, elaichi, black beauty: These were some of the over 70 code words used by members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) while chatting on the internet as they plotted deadly attacks on the country, police sources said.

The revelation comes after the arrest of Tehsin Akhtar alias Monu, head of IM (India), last week along with the outfit’s expert bomber Zia Ur Rehman alias Waqas from the Indo-Nepal border and Rajasthan respectively.

“These secret code words were being used by the operatives during their chats through different e-mail accounts to avoid detection,” an officer requesting anonymity told IANS. “There are over 70 such secret codes.”

According to sources, the operatives had a code word for everything, be it sophisticated weapons, cities, states and countries and even investigating agencies. The operatives too were given secret names.

“They would address Delhi as Sham, Mumbai as Gaw, Pune as Metro, Gujarat as Jeju and would refer to India as Innd in their chats,” said a source.

As far as the investigative agencies or even their partner outfits were concerned, code names were given to them as well.

‘Agency’ meant (Pakistan’s) Inter-Services Intelligence, ‘N eye’ was India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA), ‘BB’ (Black Beauty) were members of banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who were the friends of Tehsin while the Al-Qaeda was referred to as ‘Wagh’.

Some other interesting code words were ‘ticket’ or ‘chaloo’ used for pistol and ‘kalungi’ for explosives, while the popular AK-47 assault rifle was addressed as ‘reservation’ while ‘elaichi’ meant a detonator.

And obviously, the top IM operatives, including Yasin Bhatkal, had code names as well.

“Beboo was one of the founder members of the outfit and top operative Iqbal Bhatkal while his brother Riyaz had a code name ‘ChTa’ (both are now in Pakistan),” said the source adding that Yasin Bhatkal, who was arrested in August last year by the NIA was referred to as ‘JJ’ or ‘TB’. Yasin Bhatkal is judicial custody.

Tehsin and Rehman, who gave the information to the police after their recent arrests, were named ‘hass’ or ‘hazil’ and ‘jadd’ respectively.

“These codes were used in chats that took place on August 25, 2013, where the top IM operatives discussed about getting fidayeens through Al-Qaeda for operations in India,” the source told IANS.

“The discussion also revealed how some IM operatives narrowly escaped the Batla House shootout.”

The shootout between a Delhi Police Special Cell team and alleged IM operatives occurred at Batla House in south Delhi Sept 19, 2008, days after serial blasts rocked the national capital Sept 13 claiming 26 lives. Delhi Police Inspector M.C. Sharma was gunned down in the shootout.

According to the source, the code words were again used in a chat dated July 15, 2013, wherein the IM operatives discussed a “fight between some fellow operatives in Karachi (Pakistan) as well as the role of the ISI in the matter.”

“When Riyaz Bhatkal went to Afghanistan two months back, he was given some tasks including an attack on Jews living in India. They discussed this in a chat last year in August,” said the source.

Meanwhile, the top bosses made sure to use proxy servers to chat with each other in order to hide their exact location.

(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at rajnish.k@ians.in)

IANS