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From stone pelter to over ground worker: Arrested Jaish terrorist reveals his role in Pulwama terror attack

Sajjad Khan who was also wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, was tailed for almost a month before being nabbed near Lajpat Rai market in Delhi on Thursday night.

The Special Cell of Delhi police had arrested a terrorist of the Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) named Sajjad Khan, who was also a close aide of Pulwama terror attack mastermind, near Red Fort area on Thursday night.

Sajjad Khan who was also wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the aftermath of the Pulwama attack, was tailed for almost a month before being nabbed near Lajpat Rai market in Delhi.

DCP (Special Cell) Pramod Kushwaha, confirming Sajjad Khan’s arrest, said that the police had tracked down a phone number generated using an application called TextNow, reports Times Of India. The number was used by him to communicate with Pulwama attack mastermind Mudassir Khan, who was recently killed by security forces in an encounter in south Kashmir’s Tral area on March 11.

Mudassir Khan had used that number (+190460**123) to send a text message to Sajjad Khan hours after the Pulwama attack on February 12. This communication was intercepted by the Delhi Special Cell and Khan’s number was eventually tracked down to near Daryaganj.

Sajjad Khan had checked into a guesthouse in Delhi. On March 21 Khan had stepped out of his guesthouse to visit the Red Fort where he was nabbed by a team led by ACP Lalit Mohan Negi and ACP Hriday Bhushan. He was picked up from there.

Police said that Sajjad Khan had left Kashmir soon after the Pulwama attack. He had been sent to Delhi on a special task to probe special targets. Khan, who was living in Delhi in the guise of a shawl seller was actually in Delhi to radicalise and recruit Muslim youths of UP and other states and provide them weapons training, explosives, and field craft.

He had been tasked to create a sleeper cell and a hideout for the cadres in Delhi. Khan had also conducted the recce of at least a dozen places in NCR on the instruction of his Pakistan-based handler.

Sajjad Khan confirmed that Mudassir Ahmed Khan, the mastermind behind the Pulwama attack, got in touch with him and started visiting his house soon after the death of his eldest brother, Ishfaq. “He motivated me and my brother Shaukat to join the jihad”.

Sajjad furthered that initially he use to work as a stone pelter and an overground worker. He used to initially provided information about the movement of convoys and cordon and the search operations carried out by security forces in Pulwama.

“Impressed with my work Mudassir instructed me to spot young Kashmiri youths for fidayeen attack”, he told the interrogators. He furthered that on the day of the Pulwama attack he was contacted by Mudassir on WhatsApp and asked to leave for Delhi. “I was in touch with my handlers on TextNow and WhatsApp only”, confirmed Khan.

Mudassir had also sent Sajjad the video of Adil Ahmed Dar, the suicide bomber, who blew his explosive-laden vehicle next to a bus in a CRPF convoy on February 14, which he saw and immediately deleted from his phone, said Khan.

Sajjad Khan, who is the resident of Jammu and Kashmir, allegedly had the details of the Pulwama attack on the CRPF convoy. Reportedly, his two brothers were also Jaish terrorists, who were killed by the forces in encounters in Jammu and Kashmir. One of his brothers was killed in an encounter along with Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar’s nephew Usman in South Kashmir’s Tral in October 2018.

The Delhi Special Cell is now in the lookout for two other youths, Tanveer from Tral and Bilal from Gadpora, whom Khan had recruited as fidayeen.

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