LeT planned blasts in Kochi and Kannur

via PNS | Kochi published on December 10, 2009

Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyeba had planned to carry out explosions on the lines of the ones in Bangalore, Delhi and other cities, at vital installations in Kochi, LeT’s South India commander Thadiyantavide Nazeer has reportedly told his interrogators in Bangalore. He also admitted to them that he had organized and conducted LeT camps at Kochi last year, including a two-day session in the building that also housed a purdah shop run by Sufiya, wife of Islamist leader Abdul Nasser Madani.

According to reports from Bangalore, Nazeer, arrested last week from the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya, has told the investigators that the LeT had prepared a plan to carry out terror blasts at Infopark IT facility off Kochi and the main railway station of Kochi, Ernakulam South.

According to officials, the plan was prepared while Nazeer was in hiding in Bangladesh. The LeT had given the charge of the planned terror operation to him. It is also said that he had taken the maps and layouts of both the facilities where thousands of people would be present around the clock. However, officials refused to reveal how far the conspiracy had progressed.

At the same time, Nazeer also told the interrogators that he had organized LeT camps in Kochi during July-August, 2008. As many as 15 young men from Kochi’s satellite areas like Aluva, Kalamassery and Perumbavoor had participated in these camps, the officials said. The terror group had also held a recruitment camp in Eloor, an industrial township on the outskirts of Kochi city.

It is reported that the responsibility for conducting the recruitment camp in Eloor had been given to Feroze, a native of the place who was now in prison. It was Feroze who had recruited Kochi native Muhammad Yassin, originally a Christian, who was killed along with three other Malayalee militants in Kashmir in October last year, into the LeT.

Nazeer also told the interrogators that he had been getting extensive local support for conducting these camps. He also reportedly said that several persons had taken part in the Ifthar he had held in Eloor in 2008.

One of the most stunning admissions he made to the interrogators was that he had held a two-day LeT session in a hall in the upper floor of a purdah shop that Sufiya Madani had been running at Karukappally, Kochi last year. There were reports that Nazeer had connections with Madani and his wife, which the Islamist leader had not so far denied.

The terror man also told the officials that he had tried to carry out minor explosions in Kannur town as a tactic to terrify people but not to cause casualties. The police had recovered bombs from three places near Iftar venues in Kannur during Ramadan of 2008. However, these bombs were not primed for explosion.

According to Nazeer’s statement to the police, these bombs were meant to scare away people, especially Muslim women, who were in the habit of reaching road-side food joints for Iftar. As per the LeT man, women breaking Ramadan fast on road-sides was un-Islamic and he wanted to put an end to the practice.

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