Saturday, February 13, 2010
Pune blast was warning signal from IM
Intelligence officials suspect that terror outfit Indian Mujahideen is behind the blast in Pune's German bakery that killed eight people and injured dozens of others on Saturday.
IB reports suggest that Pune was becoming the nerve centre of the Indian Mujahideen, with the maximum number of modules functional in the state after Mumbai.
The IM was planning to carry out a major blast at the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party offices in New Delhi, but they had to cancel their plans after key operative Shahzad alias Pappu was arrested from Azamgarh, say IB officials.
IB sources say that local modules of the IM were instructed to carry out the blast. The blast indicates a local connection, as the person who planted the bomb in the bag had sufficient information about the lay-out of the bakery, according to sources in the Anti-Terrorism Squad.
"We are still ascertaining as to who the foreign hand behind the blasts could be," ATS sources said.
The ATS will send details of the blast site to its forensics department. The forensics team will also inspect another suspicious-looking bag that was found at the site.
According to the Intelligence Bureau, the prime suspect in the incident is Riyaz Bhatkal, who is currently hiding in Karachi.
Bhatkal, who was hiding in Karnataka, fled to Pakistan via Dubai after the Bengaluru blasts. He has been constantly monitoring the resurrection of the Indian Mujahideen and has been trying to strengthen the organisation's base in Pune over the last few months.
The Pune module was set up to make the city a terror base and strike at important cities such as Mumbai. However, with security being beefed up in Mumbai, the IM probably planned to carry out a smaller strike in Pune to send out a warning signal, say IB sources.
The IM, which wanted to target foreigners, found Pune's Koregaon Park as an ideal target, they say.