Pathankot attack: JeM plotted using Google map, code-named "nikaah"

The NIA chargesheet says that the conspiracy was "not limited to Masood Azhar", hinting at the hand of Pakistani authorities.

Pathankot attack: JeM plotted using Google map, code-named "nikaah"

National Investigation Agency (NIA), in its chargesheet filed on Monday, said the attack on the Pathankot airbase in January this year was planned in April 2014 at a meeting in Sialkot in Pakistan by Jaish-e-Mohammed operative Shahid Latif who believed it was “easy” to launch an attack since the airbase was surrounded by forests.

The chargesheet  named Azhar’s brother Rauf Asghar, two handlers Kashif Jan and Shahid Latif, along with four dead attackers as the accused.

NIA, in the chargesheet, said Latif showed the potential attackers a Google map of the airbase. The attack was code-named `nikaah' (wedding) and attackers were called `baraati' (wedding guests). This information was gathered from a witness who was present at the meeting and later identified the photograph of Latif.

The chargesheet said one of the witnesses said the terrorists who attacked the airbase were “very talkative” and spoke of their association with the Jaish and the motivation provided by Masood Azhar for the attack.

The witness said that one of the terrorists was referred to as “Major” and was in touch with an “Ustadji” from Pakistan over the phone, the chargesheet said.

“The Major… said that he and his companions were members of a great organisation, Jaish-e Mohammed, and that they had been imparted true knowledge of Islam by Maulana Masood Azhar. They were also repeatedly taking the name of Azhar and Abdul Rauf, who directly meet, motivate, encourage and send people for waging jihad in India,” the chargesheet read.

The terrorists, while moving towards the airbase on January 1, also received a call from a Pakistan number (923453030479) and discussed the route and plan of the attack with “Ustadji”. This number, the chargesheet said, was found to be “associated with the Facebook profile of Kashif Jan with profile ID 100004609026581”.

The contents of the Facebook account revealed Jan’s close connections with other Jaish members. The chargesheet attached details of conversations between Jaish members about the Pathankot attack as extracted from Jan’s Facebook data.

“All the registration and login IP address used for this account belong to Pakistan,” the chargesheet stated. It also mentioned chat messages of March 20-21, 2015 where Jan owned up the attacks in Kathua and Samba in Jammu on the same dates.