Police will have him in their custody for interrogation for a fortnight and the cops hope Tauqeer will reveal interesting facts during the questioning

NEW DELHI: His skill as a recruiter and his expertise as an improvised-explosives maker made Tauqeer a unique, and deadly, purveyor of death. Police said it was rare for a terror operative to possess these two capabilities. Since 1997, Tauqeer must have tried to persuade at least 200 men to devote their life to jihad, estimated an investigator who had been trailing him. "He has a deep-rooted hatred for the country," the sleuth added.

One of NIA's charge sheet details how Tauqeer and his associates had organised training camps in Thangalpara in Kottayam district in Kerala in 2007. It was a three-day crash course held between December 10 and December 12. A few of the recruits who participated were chosen to plant bombs in Surat and Ahmadabad in 2008, disclosed sources.

Defying all law-enforcement agencies, Tauqeer and then SIMI chief Safdar Nagori had also organised training camps in at least 12 locations across the country, including Halol in Gujarat and Choral in Madhya Pradesh. These camps imparted 'deeni' (literary) and 'aksari' (weaponry) training in jungles as is done in the terror camps in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir. Tauqeer also designed the courses to include skills in mountaineering, swimming, map-reading, pistol firing and preparing and using Molotov cocktails. A special course consisted of ways in which to organise fake accidents to have an operative declared dead.

Tauqeer was trained in making IEDs by a Jihadi named Nasir who had himself been trained in POK. Tauqeer specialised in preparing tiffin and pressure cooker bombs using readily available materials.

Using his persuasive abilities, he was able to cultivate associates across the breadth of India. According to police, six of his associates, who are key members of SIMI and IM, remain out of reach of the security agencies. They are: Usman Agarbattiwala from Vadodara, Alamzeb Afridi and Zahid Sheikh from Ahmedabad, Amil Parwez from Ujjain and Abdul Razik Mansuri, who was an embroidery unit owner there and Mujib Shaikh, a stone polishing artisan. The cops are interrogating Tauqeer to ascertain if anyone of these men are in Delhi and NCR or is in touch with him.

Many of those cultivated by Tauqeer in north Indian states have been apprehended over the years. Those arrested include Mufti Abu Bashir, a preacher in Azamgarh in UP, Manzar Imam from Ranchi, Haider Ali aka Black Beauty, who executed the Gandhi Maidan blast in Patna, Sajid Mansuri and Qayamuddin Kapadia from Vadodra.