Police suspect the footprints of wanted Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) militant Muhammad Ismail, also having a role in the 2019 Pulwama attack that killed 40 CRPF jawans, in the foiled suicide car attack in Pulwama on Thursday. The car owner is a local militant from south Kashmir.

A senior police officer told The Hindu that Ismail, also known as Fauji Baba, Lambu and Adnan, “may have provided the expertise to formulate the improvised explosive devices”. “Ismail is an IED expert and his role is under scanner. There are very few hands in the militant ranks to handle such huge quantity of explosives”, the officer said.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Kashmir, Vijay Kumar, said 40 to 45 kg of explosives, hidden in a blue drum and fitted to the hatch of the Santro, “may have been hidden given the impact on the car when the explosives were defused by a special team”.

Police sources said the nature of the explosives and where they were ferried from was not known yet.

The explosives-laden vehicle, which the security forces were able to spot in advance, belonged to Hidayatullah Malik, an active Hizb-ul-Mujahideen militant, from Shopian’s Sharatpora.

Police sources said Malik joined the militant ranks in July last year.

The police suspect it was a joint attack plan by the Jaish and the Hizb. 

The IGP identified a local militant, Adil, who works for the Hizb and the Jaish, and two other militants of these outfits behind the foiled car bomb attack

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