Sunday, February 14, 2010
German bakery was not the first choice for attack: IB
Investigations into the blast that went off in a popular locality in Pune on Saturday night have revealed that the German bakery, where the attack took place, was not the first choice of terrorists.
Members of the Indian Mujahideen, who are reportedly being blamed for the attack, had first planned on carrying out a strike at the Chabhad House and the Osho Ashram in Pune.
Intelligence Bureau officials told rediff.com that Pune was on alert and that several alerts had been issued in the past couple of months to the Maharashtra government and the state police regarding a possible terror strike in the city.
The intelligence alert that was received first was that terror outfits would target Chabhad House and Osho Ashram since there were many foreigners in these places and terror groups would be trying to get international attention.
However, the plans were changed at the last minute, as they were not able to intercept these places. Based on the advisories and the alerts that were issued, the security in these two places was beefed up.
IB sources say that it is very clear that they were looking for places, which had a large number of foreigners and hence they decided to target the German bakery.
While conducting the reccee of these places, the operatives realised that there was no way in which they could access the Chabhad House of the Osho Ashram. However, there was no particular intel on the German bakery and hence this was the easiest target for them to attack.
The IB further adds that the IM was in a hurry to carry out a strike. Over the past year, several of their plans have gone bust due to police action against their cadres. The police cleaned up the entire top rung of the IM and this was a huge setback for the organisation.
The IM was gradually regrouping under the supervision of Mohsin Chaudhary and Riyaz Bhatkal and they had managed to rope in Shahzad alias Pappu to carry out a deadly strike at New Delhi. However, he too was arrested.
IB officials say that they do not rule out the fact that the IM had timed the attack in such a manner to avenge the death of Shahid Azmi, the lawyer who was gunned down by unidentified persons in Mumbai last week. The blasts took place barely a couple of hours after the lawyer's funeral.
Azmi was fighting several cases of SIMI and the IM operatives and had made a lot of enemies in the bargain.
If one looks at all these factors, it is evident that the blast at Pune was a hurried operation.