A day after Yasin Bhatkal and four others were convicted for their role in twin blasts in Hyderabad’s Dilsukhnagar locality in 2013, it has now emerged that terror outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal is holed up in Karachi under the patronage of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI).
The report cited an NIA official who claimed that Riyaz’s financial affluence is a result of him working with the ISI, which eventually led to the split of the Indian Mujahideen.
His decision of sailing with the ISI was contrary to that of former IM members who wanted to further the cause of either al-Qaida or the Islamic State.
As Riyaz reportedly has a passport issued by Pakistan, NIA officials are finding it difficult to track his movements and apprehend him.
When Riyaz fled India in 2007, he headed to Sharjah. He stayed there for a few years. However when his address was tracked, it was the ISI which lifted him out and transferred him to Pakistan. After being moved into Pakistan the ISI housed him at the Defence Housing Colony, residential area Phase VI in Karachi. He was moved into this address in November 2012. Riyaz and his brother Iqbal was asked to oversee the operations of the IM from Pakistan.
Riyaz however shuttled between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia where he would raise funds and also meet with other operatives of the IM. He would coordinate with the likes of Fayyaz Kagzi and Abu Jundal.