New Delhi: Two commanders of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed — Abdul Rashid Ghazi alias Kamran – is believed to be the main conspirator of the Pulwama terror attack which claimed the lives of 40 CRPF troopers.Also Read - Masood Azhar Meets Taliban Leadership, Seeks Help For JeM Operation In Kashmir: Report
According to sources, he trained Adil Ahmed Dar – the suicide bomber who carried out the dastardly attack. Also, he provided explosives and specific inputs about the movement of the CRPF contingent in Jammu and Kashmir’s Lethpora area. Also Read - Amid Taliban Takeover, Large Number of Islamic State, JeM, LeT Terrorists Have Entered Kabul: Report
Ghazi, an Afghan war veteran and IED expert, is a trusted lieutenant of Masood Azhar and is believed to be operating from the forest and hills in Tral and Pulwama. Also Read - J&K: Major Tragedy Averted as Jammu Police Arrests 4 JeM Terrorists Ahead of Independence Day 2021
Intelligence sources revealed that nearly 15 Jaish militants had infiltrated into India via Poonch last month. Among them was Kamran, who had arrived with equipment and other explosives and was directed to train a local Kashmiri youth to carry out an attack on security forces.
Ghazi is believed to have been trained by Pakistan’s Special Service Group, which conducts cross-border operations and raids across Line of Control (LoC). He has fought at Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province.
In 2018, the security forces had gunned down 230 militants which included some top Jaish commanders. These included Masood Azhar’s nephew Usman, who had carried out sniper attacks on the security forces.
Umer Khalid, another top JeM militant, who had helped set up the group’s base in the region was also killed in North Kashmir last year. In 2017, Masood Azhar’s other nephew, Talha Rasheed, was killed by the security forces.
According to reports, these killings prompted Azhar to send Ghazi to the Valley to train Adil Dar, a local Kashmiri youth.
Intel sources said that agencies had inputs that the JeM was planning a spectacular strike with possible targets being security forces and vital installation. But the input was generic in nature and agencies failed to catch on to the terror plot, reported DNA.
On Adil Ahmad Dar, the suicide bomber, intel sources said that out of roughly 70 recruits, he was a category C militant and that is why remained under the radar.
On the other hand, according to eyewitnesses, a red Eeco van was used to the CRPF bus which was carrying the personnel.
They further revealed that the four escorts in bus no. 3 told him twice or thrice to move away from the convoy but he kept swerving right and left.