The name of a former SIMI member that was linked to Indian Mujahideen-related terrorist attacks in 2008, especially the Ahmedabad blasts of July 26, has resurfaced following investigations into terror modules in the country since the attack on a Narendra Modi rally in Patna on October 27.
Abdus Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, aged around 44 now, whose name had frequently figured as a key link between the banned SIMI and IM in terrorist incidents in 2008 but who disappeared the same year, has re-emerged.
One of the key accused in the Patna blasts, the still-wanted Hyder Ali from Ranchi, was a close associate of Tauqeer, sources said. Hyder Ali is alleged to have trained eight youths with the help of IM’s Tehsin Akhtar in preparing the IEDs used for the Patna blasts.
It is, however, not clear if Tauqeer used his old SIMI connections in organising the blast and this is still a matter of investigation, the sources said.
A second instance where Tauqeer’s name has emerged in recent times is in the case of Abu Faisal, a former Mumbai-based SIMI operative who escaped from Khandwa jail on October 1 this year and was arrested by the Madhya Pradesh ATS on Tuesday.
Faisal is known to be an associate of Tauqeer from Mumbai and is also an accused in the Ahmedabad blasts case of July 26, 2008. Sources said the last-known evidence of Tauqeer’s presence in India is his meeting with Faisal in May 2011.
Nobody has seen or heard of Tauqeer since but there have been signs of an effort to revive old SIMI connections in many places, including south India, the sources said.
A former software professional who quit the firm Datamatics in March 2001 for religious and spiritual pursuits, Tauqeer, who grew up in the shadows of the Mumbai riots of 1992-93, is known to have been in association with IM founders Sadique Sheikh and Riyaz Bhatkal — both former Mumbai residents.
Though never directly linked to IM activities till 2008, he was a close associate of SIMI leader Safdar Nagori and was a participant in discussions in SIMI-linked meetings to seek reprisal for incidents like the Gujarat riots of 2002.
In the Ahmedabad blasts case of 2008, Tauqeer is alleged to have put IM men in touch with former SIMI members in Gujarat to help with logistics and provide assistance for the 21 blasts that left 56 dead.