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Pak terrorist behind foiled Pulwama attack rerun is Jaish chief’s nephew | India News

SRINAGAR: The mastermind of the foiled car bomb attack targeting security forces in south Kashmir’s Pulwama was on Friday identified as a nephew of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar, whose banned terror outfit had used the same modus operandi to kill 40 CRPF personnel in the district in February 2019.
Abdul Rehman alias Fauji Bhai, who is suspected to have infiltrated into Kashmir from Pakistan in 2018, collaborated with the Valley’s terror modules over several months to plan the attack before intelligence agencies got wind of it, IGP (Kashmir range) Vijay Kumar told TOI.
The explosives-laden Santro that was intercepted by security forces at a checkpoint on Wednesday night and later blown up in a controlled explosion belonged to Hidayatullah Malik, a former Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist from Sharatpora in Shopian district, the IGP said. “Two other local Jaish-e-Mohammad terrorists – Adil and Zahid – were involved in the plot to carry out the suicide attack on security forces in Pulwama.”
While Malik, 24, joined the Hizbul Mujahideen ranks in July 2019, Adil and Zahid were recruited by Jaish-e-Mohammad this March. All of them reported to Fauji Bhai, who also operates under the aliases Ismail, Jameel and Akram, sources said.
A top intelligence official said Malik dropped out of a nursing course in Kerala and returned to Kashmir in 2018 after being allegedly assaulted by some fellow students there. The son of an orchard owner, he is suspected to have crossed over from Hizbul to Jaish this year.
In Adil’s case, his family desperately tried to keep him from joining the terrorist ranks, the intelligence officer said. A video clip that was shared on social media soon after the youth went missing shows his brother purportedly pleading with him to give up the gun and return home.
It wasn’t immediately clear if any of Fauji Bhai’s direct collaborators were in the Santro packed with 40-50kg of RDX when a joint team of the police, Army and CRPF intercepted it on Wednesday night at Ayegund in the Rajpora area of Pulwama. The two men in the car abandoned the vehicle after being fired upon.
The terrorists had possibly planned to ram the Santro against a convoy of security forces passing through the national highway or crash into any key security installation, intelligence sources said.
The Santro sported a registration number that actually belongs to a two-wheeler registered in Kathua district of Jammu.

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