Termed as the 'biggest success of the year 2021', security forces on Saturday killed the mastermind of the Pulwama terror attack Abu Saifullah alias 'Lamboo', a self-styled commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) outfit, in a brief encounter in South Kashmir's Dachigarm forest area.
'Lamboo' along with another terrorist was killed in the encounter- which lasted for not more than five minutes and was completed without any collateral damage.
The killed terrorist was the nephew of the chief of JeM, Masood Azhar, who was designated as a global terrorist was the United Nations in May 2019.
'Lamboo' a resident of Pakistan's Punjab province had reportedly infiltrated Kashmir Valley from the Shakargarh area of Pakistan in the year 2017, to coordinate terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to police on a specific input regarding the presence of terrorists in the forest area of Namibian and Marsar, the general area of Dachigam forest, a joint cordon, and search operation was launched by Awantipora Police and Army.
During the search operation, the hiding terrorists fired on the joint search party, which was retaliated, leading to the encounter.
In the ensuing encounter, two terrorists were killed and one of them was identified as 'dreaded and most wanted' Pakistani terrorist Saifullah alias Mohammad Ismail Alvi alias Lamboo alias Adnan of Jash-e-Mohammad. Identify of the second terrorist has been established as Sameer Dar.
Mastermind of 2019 Pulwama terror attack
Abu Saifullah chief of JeM Kashmir was the mastermind of the 2019 Pulwama terror attack. He was among 19 terrorists identified by the investigating agencies for the 2019 attack.
"The importance of killing Saifullah alias Lamboo is two-fold. It brings closure to February 2019 Pulwama incident. He was one of the masterminds for having trained a local, Adil, who blew himself up in an IED attack", said Lt Gen DP Pandey, Chinar Corps Commander.
"A well-trained terrorist, Lamboo was expert in making of IEDs. He was instrumental in planning and executing attacks on security establishments and civilian killings,", Inspector General of Police, (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar said and added that he was the mastermind and main accused in the February 14, 2019, Pulwama attack
He was also involved in the killing of SPO Fayaz Ahmed, his wife, and his daughter in Tral recently, the IGP said. "Lamboo was from the family of Masood Azhar. He was involved in the conspiracy and planning of the Pulwama attack. He stayed with Adil Dar till the day of the attack, the viral video of Adil Dar had his voice in it", the IGP said.
40 CRPF personnel had lost their lives in Pulwama terror attack
In one of the deadliest terror attacks in the Kashmir Valley, 40 personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were killed when a 22-year-old suicide bomber, Adil Ahmad Dar, had rammed an explosive-laden car into the convoy of vehicles carrying CRPF men in South Kashmir on February 14, 2019.
Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) had claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. Jaish also released a video of the suspected suicide bomber, identified as a local man, who had joined JeM in 2018.
Amid grief and anger in the country after that bloodiest attack, India had carried out strikes in the Balakote area of Pakistan to dismantle terrorist camps.
19 terrorists identified for Pulwama terror attack
In its investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had identified 19 terrorists for executing the Pulwama terror attack in the year 2019.
"Out of 19 terrorists, seven including Adil Dar, Mudasir Khan, Umar Farooq, Kamran, Qari Yasir, Sajjad Bhat and today Lamboo were killed in encounters, seven terrorists or OGWs have been arrested and five are still absconding", IGP said but asserted that those absconding would be captured soon.
Saifullah was also instrumental in motivating and recruiting the youth to join terror ranks and also motivating local youth for stone-pelting and other activities.
'Lamboo' had escaped the security agencies during an encounter at Zinpora (Doniwari) Chadoora in Budgam in March 2020. He had also participated in the Afghanistan war on the side of the Taliban.
Saifullah was trying to re-establish the JeM network in South Kashmir
According to police, Saifullah was trying to re-establish and strengthen JeM and utilized Awantipora, especially Kakpora and Pampore areas of Pulwama, as a hotbed for receiving new terror groups and transporting youth to the other parts for carrying out terror attacks.
Lamboo was carrying out terror activities in Awantipora, Pulwama, and Anantnag districts. He was a close associate of Abdul Rehman alias Fauji alias Idrees Bhai of Multan Pakistan who along with two local associates killed in an encounter at Kangan Pulwama on 3 June 2020." He had also visited several training camps of JeM in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Police spokesman said incriminating materials besides arms and ammunition including one AK-rifle, one M-4 Carbine, a Glock pistol, and a Chinese Pistol were recovered from the site of encounter.