Pulwama attack mastermind identified as 23-year-old electrician: Officials

Pulwama attack mastermind identified as 23-year-old electrician: Officials
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Srinagar, Mar 10: Lesser-known Jaish-e-Muhammed militant Mudasir Ahmed Khan, alias ‘Mohd Bhai’, has been identified as the brains behind the audacious strike in Pulwama that left 40 CRPF personnel dead on February 14, officials said on Sunday.
Piecing together evidence gathered so far, security officials said that 23-year-old Khan, an electrician with a graduate degree hailing from Pulwama district, arranged the vehicle and explosives used in the strike.
A resident of Mir Mohalla of Tral, Khan joined Jaish-e-Muhammed sometime in 2017 as an overground worker and was later drawn into the JeM fold by Noor Mohammed Tantrey, alias ‘Noor Trali’, who is believed to have helped revive the outfit in the Valley.
After Tantray was killed in December 2017, Khan disappeared from his home on January 14, 2018 and has been active since then.
Suicide attacker Adil Ahmed Dar, who blew his explosive-laden vehicle next to a bus in a CRPF convoy on February 14, had been in constant contact with Khan, they said.
After completing his graduation, Khan did a one-year diploma course as electrician from an Industrial Training Institute (ITI). The eldest son of a labourer, Khan is also believed to be involved in the militant strike at the Army camp in Sunjawan in February 2018, in which six personnel and a civilian were killed.
His role has also come under lens in the Lethpora attack on a CRPF camp in January 2018 that left five CRPF personnel dead.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the February 14 attack, had carried out searches at the residence of Khan on February 27.
A Maruti Eeco minivan was used in the Pulwama attack and it was bought by another Jaish-e-Muhammed operative just 10 days before the strike.
The JeM operative, identified as Sajjad Bhat, a resident of Bijbehara in south Kashmir, has since been on the run and is believed to have become an active militant now, they said.