Lashkar commander, Amarnath attack mastermind: Who was Abu Ismail?

Posted September 16, 2017

In Jammu & Kashmir, the mastermind of the Amarnath Yatra attack Abu Ismail was killed along with his accomplice in a brief gunfight in Nowgam area of Srinagar outskirts today afternoon.

"Huge achievement for police and SF (security forces)", Jammu and Kashmir police said, adding that he was the architect of the deadly attack on Amarnath Yatra in which seven pilgrims, including six women, were killed and 19 were injured.

Abu Ismail was portrayed by the experts as the "driving force" of an assault in July on a transport of Hindu explorers who were going by a mountain altar in Kashmir, an assault that left eight individuals dead.

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In June this year, a list of twelve most-wanted militants was released by the army, following the killing of Sabzar Bhat, the most-wanted Hizb militant.

After the attack on yatris, police had formed a SIT headed by a top police officer to probe the attack and track down the militants involved in the attack.

Details of the Nowgam encounter is awaited. The Police was following intelligence leads regarding Ismail's associates, hideouts used and communication intercepts. He was involved in around 15 criminal cases in the valley which included murder, dacoities and other militancy related incidents.

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Khan said the priority of the security forces is to neutralise the militant leadership in the valley.

He was designated as the operation commander by the LeT after Abu Dujana joined the Kashmir chapter of Zakir Musa's al-Qaida some months ago. Officials said it was a brief encounter based on specific information they had received, sources have said that the information regarding Ismail's latest move was given from the south Kashmir region. "Now, we are looking at a serious deficiency in their leadership which should give us more opportunities", he said.

When asked who their next "target" is, Khan said, "It's not about the next target".

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Zeenat, 28, hails from Sugan Zanipura in south Kashmir's Shopian area and is an expert in improvised explosive devices (IEDs).