Blore blast- A new theory emerges

Pic: ibnlive.in.com
Pic: ibnlive.in.com

The investigation into the blast at Bangalore before the Karnataka Assembly elections appears to have hit a road block and all that the police have on them today is theory and no concrete lead.

At first the police claimed that it was the Al-Ummah which carried out the attack, but today they maintain that it was a fringe group which sought revenge against the atrocities carried out against their fore fathers.

A source in the investigation agency told rediff.com that on questioning the accused persons that they have in their custody and also based on the call records they have found that the blast was carried out by a set of persons from Tamil Nadu who wanted to speak out against the atrocities meted out to their forefathers.

Continue reading “Blore blast- A new theory emerges”

NSG arrives, cops look for clues

A five member team of the National Security Guard has commenced the post blast invetigation into the Bangalore blast case. The Bangalore police which says that it requires a minimum of 24 hours to get concrete details will coordinate with the NSG team.
Meanwhile officers of the National Investigation Agency continue to assist the Bangalore police in looking for clues. The Bangalore police say that there is no concrete lead as yet in the case. We would need some more time at least 24 hours to get some information. The origin of the motor cycle used to plant the bomb and the CCTV footage is being examined the police say.

High Court rejects Madani’s bail plea

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday rejected the bail plea filed by Abdul Nasar Madani, an accused in the Bangalore blasts case. The leader of the PDP from Kerala who was picked up by the Bangalore police had moved the High Court seeking bail on various grounds. However Justice Nagmohan Das after hearing arguments at length rejected the bail plea.

Madani was arrested in Keraela on August 17th 2010. He has been in judicial custody ever since and his application for bail before a lower court too had been rejected on an earlier occasion. Continue reading “High Court rejects Madani’s bail plea”

A ban at last- The IM story

“… Here we are back – the Mujahideen of India – the terrorists on the disbelievers – the radicals of Islam – after our triumphant and successful assault at Jaipur, once again calling you all, who disbelieve in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad to accept Islam and bear witness that there is none to be worshipped except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Accept Islam and save yourselves.

This is just one of the mails that was sent out by the Indian Mujahideen prior to the deadly Gujarat blasts which wrecked havoc. Today the Indian Mujahideen, probably one of India’s deadliest home grown terror outfit has been banned and sanctions slapped by the United States of America. It has today been designated as a foreign terror outfit since it maintains close links with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and other Pakistan based outfits.

The Indian Mujahideen was designed in a manner to carry out attacks on Indian soil and more importantly all its cadres were of Indian origin. It was a perfect ploy by the ISI to ensure that terror attacks continued unabated in India without a finger being pointed at Pakistan. Today Indian Intelligence agencies and other police wings welcome the decision by the US to designate the IM as a foreign terror outfit. It is an extremely important decision since today the top leadership of the IM is not in India. Riyaz Bhatkal, Yaseen Bhatkal, Amir Reza Khan(only one of Pakistan origin), Abdus Subhan, Assadullah Akthar and a few others are all out of the country. The Indian agencies were finding it extremely difficult to apprehend these persons thanks to international laws and today with the US slapping sanctions, the job becomes easier. There are a large number of the IM operatives who are settled in the Gulf and this move by the US would make it easier to bring them down to India. However a concern that would always remain is regarding some of the cadres who are at Pakistan and no international law is good enough when it comes to dealing with that country, IB officials point out.

The US move has also given Indian agencies another reason to smile about. Although the ISI had been claiming that the IM is an outfit born and brought up in India, the US order also makes it clear that this outfit has direct links with the Lashkar. This only vindicates India’s stand that any act of terror in India has the blessings of Pakistan based outfits.

The Inception: It is a well known fact that the Indian Mujahideen is just an off shoot of the banned Student’s Islamic Movement of India. In fact it could be termed as the radical SIMI. Almost the entire leadership were part of the SIMI at one point in time. Abdus Subhan himself was a magazine editor when he was in SIMI. Riyaz too was connected with the SIMI as an activist before he decided to become part of the core committee of the IM. The first time that the IM came to the limelight was during the court blasts at Uttar Pradesh in 2007. Although a mail was sent out claiming responsibility for the attacks, no one really took the IM seriously. However what followed was a spate of attacks later. The Jaipur bombings of 2008 is when the IM actually made its entry into the big world of terror. A chilling mail which was sent out after the attack is what made everyone sit up and take notice of this outfit.

After this there were a series of attacks and the infamous operation Bangalore Ahmedabad Delhi or Operation BAD was carried out. The mails that were sent out following those attacks only went to show the kind of arrogance that this group operated with. In fact the mails were more of a challenge and the mail during the Ahmedabad blasts was sent out five minutes prior to the blast. Some in the IB says that it is this arrogance which did them in finally and today they find themselves on a very weak footing.

Acts of terror:

Uttar Pradesh court blasts of 2007 November

Jaipur bombing of May 2008

Bangalore serial blasts on July 25 2008

Ahmedabad bombings on July 26 2008

Delhi bombings of 13 September 2008

Pune bombings of 2010

Jama Masjid Attack of 2010

Varanasi bombing of 2011

The 13/7 blasts (yet to be verified by the police)

Bombay serial blasts-2008

Top Leadership:

Amir Reza Khan of Pakistan who is the only non Indian in the outfit is considered to be the founder of the group. Originally from the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, he was a faithful commander and was later handed over the responsibility of setting up this outfit.

Safdar Nagori is another man associated with this outfit. Although he is credited with establishing the radical SIMI, it is said that larger plan hatched by him was to be part of the IM. However before the outfit could take shape he was arrested.

Riyaz Bhatkal who is still elusive was one of the key members of the organization. Hailing from the coastal Bhatkal town he is said to be one of the first members of the outfit. Today however there is a lurking doubt whether he is alive or not. Although some gangster had claimed to have eliminated him, there is absolutely no confirmation what so ever regarding his death.

Abdus Subhan who was originally a magazine editor in the SIMI became a central figure of the outfit. He is said to have set up the technical cell of the IM which eventually hacked into un secured wifi networks and sent out mails. Although those who knew him say way too much has been made out of his capabilities, Indian agencies believe that he is a crucial character in the outfit. Today Subhan is said to be hiding in Pakistan.

Mansoor Peerbhouy is today under arrest. He however could be credited with setting up the technical wing under the guidance of Subhan. A techie who worked with several reputed companies, he in fact after his arrest gave the police all the answers regarding the manner in which the IM mailing system worked.

The downfall:

Basically what the IM did was irk the police no end. All their mails and communication always took a dig at the police and the slogan was clear, “ catch us if you can.” The police did raise the bar and if one notices the manner in which the IM has been handled in the past two years one could say that they were hunted down. The real turning point was however the Batla House encounter. In a major battle between the Delhi police and some boys alleged to be IM members, it was the police who had the final say. However there is a great deal of controversy surrounding this encounter and many cry foul stating that it was fake. While this was the downfall of the IM some feel that this could be one of the biggest excuses on which they would plot their come back as well.

The restructuring:

This is something that has been worrying agencies no end. There has been a slump for the moment, but the fact that the top leadership is still elusive gives out worrying signals. The recruitment drive as of now is very slow. It is hard to say whether this is the correct picture or is it just a ploy to keep the heat at bay. Very slow movement has been witnessed especially in Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Delhi and also Pune. Although there is nothing significant the police are not taking chances. There are still several members who are out straying and they have been coming together and carrying out smaller attacks. In addition to this there are also several intercepts to show that the top leadership is very much in touch with groups such as the Lashkar and are planning a come back. It may not happen anytime soon, but they will surely make an attempt, a police officer said.

Self motivated modules in Kerala make it a hub

More clues point towards the Indian Mujahideen to be behind this attack. Looking at the intensity and the articulate planning of these blasts it becomes clear that the IM in fact has managed to re-group. Intelligence bureau reports state that while the Indian Mujahideen took place in Uttar Pradesh a few years back the re-grouping has taken place down South.

It has been said on several ocassions it is very essential that security agencies keep their noses down South since the states down the country will see the re-emergence of home grown terror. Kerala is a state that has always been spoken about which would play the role of a feeder state to such activities. However increasingly when one looks at this state the only major operation carried out by the cadres from this state was during the Bangalore blasts.

As it has been pointed out Kerala will always remain a feeder state in terms of funds. In addition to this it would also serve as a hide out for terrorists since in this state one can find a lot of sympathisers for such persons. Moreover the political atmosphere has always been condusive for such operatives. The IM has found this state to be a perfect hunting ground and over the past couple of years they have used Kerala to kick start their operations.

According to the police and those officials who have been studying Kerala as a destination for terrorists, the fact remains that there is not one dedicated terror group in this state. One would get to find that there is a mix of the IM, the SIMI and elements of HuJI and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba. The major part of these modules has always been to oversee a recruitment process and also channelize funds for terror activities.

For terror groups however there has not been much of an effort put into a state like Kerala. The funds have been flowing in easily and there are many sympathisers for their cause. The IB says that there are modules in this state which are always on standby and these modules would have cadres who are being prepared for bigger operations.

The immediate worry from Kerala is not the creation of the modules by bigger outfits. There are several self motivated modules which offer to carry out terror attacks on their own. Bigger groups such as the IM and the Lashkar are aware of this and hence they have never found the need to activate their modules for terror strikes emerging out Kerala. At the moment they are happy carrying out recruitments and collecting funds which could fund operations in other states. The IM in particular has used this state to the fullest and has been gradually setting up its modules here. Moreover their operatives in the Gulf also use Kerala as transit point not only to cross over but also to send over funds.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that for an operation like 13/7, it would have cost the terror group anything between Rs 50,000 and Rs 1 lakh. Raising such small amounts is never difficult and there are many sympathisers who will part with such sums.

Security agencies say that Kerala continues to be a hot bed for such activity. The hawala money from the Gulf, the political environment and also the communally sensitive nature of this state make it ideal for terror operations. It has been said in the past too that bigger groups have never activated their modules big time from this state. There are a lot of over enthusiastic youth who will gather a group of people and carry out strikes in the names of bigger organisations.

The interrogation of T Nasir makes this evident. During his probe it had been found that there are several small modules in Kerala which are ready to carry out such operations. His module too was a very small one and he himself had managed to collect funds from a sympathiser in the Gulf for this operation. He says that the amount spent by him for the Bangalore blasts was just Rs 45000. His interrogation also goes on to state that he had sought the support of Abdul Nasar Madani for this blast and also states that he was upset that Madani had used this as a political gain which had upset him. He however also adds that Abdul Nasar Madani had backed out of this at the last moment.

These statements are indicative of the fact that a state like Kerala comprises several small modules. These modules cannot however be dismissed since fringe elements from other terror groups constantly look for support and financial help from these modules. In addition to this the police have also found that operatives from various other states take refuge in Kerala. This has led to the combining of the forces which makes Kerala a deadly battle ground for terror operations.