our suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists have been arrested in Rajasthan in a joint operation by the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the Special Cell of Delhi Police. One of them, Waqas, is alleged to be the chief bomb-maker of the banned outfit and a close aide of its jailed co-founder Yasin Bhatkal.
A Pakistani national, Waqas is one of the most wanted in connection with several blasts in the country, including the serial blasts in Mumbai in July 2011 that killed 27 persons and injured over 130.
He was, in fact, identified by Bhatkal in the CCTV footage as the one who planted a bomb at Zaveri Bazar, one of the three sites where blasts occurred.
Sources say Waqas was also involved in the twin blasts in Hyderabad last year, the Pune blasts in 2012 and the Jama Masjid shootout in Delhi 2010.
He also allegedly has links to the Al Qaeda.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had announced a reward of Rs. 10 lakh on any information leading to Waqas' arrest. Its website describes him as someone who poses as a student and is computer savvy.
While Waqas was picked up in Jodhpur, the other three were arrested in Jaipur. Police recovered detonators and two sackfuls of bomb-making material, believed to be ammonium nitrate or potassium chlorate, during these arrests.
Sources in Delhi Police say the trio belongs to the Rajasthan module of the Indian Mujahideen (IM), which was recently formed after the Darbhanga module in Bihar was exposed following Bhatkal's arrest at the Indo-Nepal border in August last.
The NIA, which filed its chargesheet against Bhatkal last month, had claimed that the Rajasthan module was constantly in touch with Riyaz Bhatkal, the alleged IM founder based out of Pakistan.