JeM commander admits he had information about Pulwama attack

New Delhi: Jaish-e-Mohammed commander, Nisar Ahmed Tantray has revealed that he had information regarding the February 14 Pulwama terror attack as the key conspirator, Mudassir Khan, had asked him to join in a “spectacular” attack being planned on the directions of JeM’s leadership in Pakistan, according to an official involved in Tantray’s interrogation said.

Tantray was deported from the UAE to India last Sunday. He is the brother of slain JeM leader Noor Ahmed Tantray and had fled from India on February 1 this year.

This is the first confirmation from a JeM commander that the Pulwama attack was executed on the instructions of the terror organisation’s leadership, and that Khan was the person who carried it out.

So far Indian investigation agencies were relying on secret information and the interrogation of some lower-level JeM militants.

An intelligence bureau officer who did not wish to be identified said Tantray has significant authority over JeM cadres in Kashmir valley, especially after he designed the December 30, 2017 attack on a CRPF Group Camp in Lethpora.

Tantray has told interrogators that Khan called him using a social media app and told him about the plan to hit a convoy in mid-February with heavy explosives somewhere in Pulwama.

Khan asked for Tantray’s help in the logistics, planning and execution of the bomb blast. Tantray was a senior commander of JeM in the Valley and cadres, who were part of the operation, would be motivated with his presence, a NIA officer said on condition of anonymity.

Although Tantray has denied any involvement in the Pulwama attack, the NIA is not taking his word for it.

“Nisar Tantray is a senior JeM operative in Kashmir. Commanders at his level are informed about all the plans, particularly for a Pulwama type attack which would have taken months of planning. We are further questioning him about his role because the timing of his flight to UAE is doubtful. He might have actively participated in the Pulwama attack and fled two weeks before February 14 to avoid capture”, the NIA officer added.