Bhatkal topped Delhi cops' list of 15 wanted terrorist
Bhatkal, 30, whose real name is Ahmed Siddibapa, was one of the most wanted men in India and virtually the backbone of the Indian Mujahideen's (IM) network.
The terror suspect hails from the Bhatkal coastal town in Uttara Kannada district near Mangalore, about 350 km from Karnataka's capital Bangalore.
His name topped the list of 15 most wanted terrorists prepared by Delhi investigators, who have now turned their focus on arresting the 14 others.
"Bhatkal is the one whose name has been put on top of the list of 15 most wanted IM terrorists," said a Delhi police officer.
The officer said Bhatkal operated under various names - Mohammad Zarrar, Ahmed, Imran, Asif and Shah Rukh - and was the only founding member of the IM who was active in the country.
Bhatkal, along with his cousins Riyaz, Iqbal Bhatkal and four others, had formed the IM. Both Riyaz and Iqbal are suspected to be in Pakistan, said the police officer.
The other terror suspects in the Delhi Police top-15 list are: Tehsin alias Monu, Ariz alias Junaid, Asad Ulla Akhtar alias Haddi, Ikbal Bhatkal (Bada Bhai), Riyaz Bhatkal (chhota bhai), Mirza Sahdaab Baig alias Malik, Mohammad Khalid alias Khodi, Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid, Dr. Shahnawaz, Abu Rashid, Alam Zeb Afridi, Amir Raza Khan, Abdul Suhan Qureshi and Yasin alias Saif, said the officer.
The list was prepared after the questioning of terror suspects arrested in 2011, he said.
Police said Bhatkal played an active role in almost all terror attacks in the country between November 2007 and July this year, including the Hyderabad, Bangalore, Pune and Bodh Gaya blasts.