New Delhi: School dropout Adil Ahmad Dar became the face of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) by becoming a suicide bomber and taking the lives of over 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) soldiers. He used to live barely 10km away from the spot where he carried out a massive attack on Thursday. It was the biggest attack on the security forces in Kashmir. 

Barely 22-year-old, Dar was a class 12 drop out who started to work at a sawmill owned by a neighbour. It was in March 2018 that he left his family and joined militancy in the Kashmir Valley.

Dar left his home on March 19 and never returned. His family registered a missing person report, but soon his photograph emerged on social networking sites, where he had a new identity – Waqas Commando and could be seen brandishing an AK-47.

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It is believed that it was easy for the terrorists to radicalise Dar as his cousin was also a militant, who was killed just 11 days after he joined them. Dar had anger for the security forces as he was shot in the leg while participating in protests called after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist Burhan Wani in 2016.

Three months after he joined militancy, Dar's house was one of the many residential structures allegedly burnt down by the security forces. This happened in June last year.

What has left the security agencies puzzled is the magnitude of the attack that Dar was able to pull off. Most of the senior JeM commanders had been neutralised by the security forces in the past couple of years and over 200 terrorists were killed last year.

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According to the police, Dar is the third local fidayeen recruited by the JeM for a big suicide attack. The others were 16-yaer-old Fardeen Ahmad Khan of Tral and 17-year-old Afaq Ahmad Shah.

Fardeen was killed on December 31, 2017, when he, along with three foreign militants, sneaked into the CRPF training centre at Lethpora and killed five personnel.