Abu Ismail was a recently appointed operational commander of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), and he was killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Srinagar on the afternoon of 14th September, 2017. In this encounter, his associate was also killed. Abu Ismail was said to be responsible for the Amarnath attack that took place on July 10, 2017. The attack was on a bus of Amarnath pilgrims and eight people died in that attack. Ismail and his associate, identified as Chota Qasim, also a foreign terrorist, were killed in a brief encounter at Aarigam area, near Nowgam.
The Director General of the J&K Police, S.P. Vaid said “We had prior information about the presence of two foreign”, he also said that Ismail was responsible for the Amarnath Yatra attacks. These militants had been the prime targets since the July attack for security agencies.
Ismail was a 23-year-old, Pakistani National from Mirpur, Pakistan, and he was active in the South Kashmir region, where he was appointed as the operational commander after Abu Dujjana joined the Zakir Musa group. Ismail had moved to the Valley around four to five years ago, and he was also close to two former operational commanders, Abu Qasim and Dujjana. Most of Ismail’s work was in the Kulgam and Anantnag districts but he was seen as a major threat only after the Amarnath attack, which occurred in Anantnag town, near Khanbal in July, this year. Immediately after this attack Ismail kept shifting his base, he was on the run. He moved between villages of three districts – Kulgam, Shopian, and a few sects of Pulwama. The security forces kept a track of his movement through surveillance and human intelligence.
At the end of it all, he was caught in the encounter near Nowgam. 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. Ismail was neutralized in that area by the J&K police and the army.
Residents of that area said the firing had lasted just around 10 minutes, which shows that this was a well-planned neutralization. The police said that they recovered two AK-47 rifles and other materials from the militants.
“The operation was important because we are expecting vacuum in the top leadership of LeT” said B.S Raju, General Officer Commanding, Army’s Victor Force. Inspector General of Police, Kashmir, Muneer Khan said, “Militant leadership has to be eliminated because they also misguide our children and lure them into this”.