17 people were killed in the Februrary 21, 2013 twin bomb blasts in Hyderabad. (PTI)
Information obtained from Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and his fellow operative Asadullah Akhtar is believed to have led security agencies to an apartment in Mangalore suspected to have been used to make bombs for the twin blasts in Hyderabad in February and for future attacks elsewhere in the country.
The third floor, rented apartment at Zephyr Heights in the Attavar region of Mangalore was traced last Saturday after the National Investigation Agency brought Asadullah, 26, who was arrested on August 28 with Yasin on the Bihar-Nepal border, on a chartered flight to the coastal Karnataka city.
The discovery of 50 digital watches several with wires connected to transform them into bomb timers, a few cell phones with wiring to again enable their use as timers in bombs, three electrical detonators, about 125 gm of ammonium nitrate gel, fuel oil and a pocket book on bomb circuitry have led investigators to believe that the Mangalore apartment was some kind of an IM bomb lab.
Asadullah claimed he had lived in the apartment for six months until March this year, using it as a base to travel to Hyderabad to plant the bombs for the strike on February 21. He claimed he had returned to Mangalore after the bombing and then moved out, sources said.
He is also believed to have claimed that he shared the flat with two other IM operatives Tahseen Akhtar alias Monu alias Hasan, 23, from Bihar and Waqas alias Ahmed, 28, from Pakistan. The two are suspected to be experts in connecting the circuits of IEDs and were also involved in the Hyderabad blasts. In fact, it is suspected that they were in the flat until as recently as the arrest of Yasin and Asadullah.