Tuesday, April 20, 2010

IM never trusted Bangalore module

Emerging intelligence inputs suggest the recent Bangalore blasts at the Chinnaswamy stadium could indeed be an act of terror.

The arrival of a National Investigating Team to probe the blasts is also a strong indication in this regard. Intelligence sources say the blasts could have been carried out by fringe elements of the Indian Mujahideen, which is quite active in South India.

But officers say it is unlikely that one of the modules from Bengaluru could have carried out the blast. This version was also seconded by T Nasir, one of the operatives of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, who was arrested in connection with the 2008 blasts in Bengaluru.

Nasir, during his interrogation, told the police that the Kerala module was the strongest and was handed over the responsibility of undertaking operations in South India. However, they did not trust the Bengaluru module a bit since they found it to be the most ineffective.

He said while they were planning in 2008, they had explored the possibility of using some of the persons from the Bengaluru module. However they found no commitment and hence at the very beginning they dropped the idea of using these men. Nasir then took under his fold all the men from the Kerala module and went ahead with the operation.

The IM has 26 active modules in India out of which 16 operate in North India. The remaining 12 modules operate out of South India and other parts of the country and down South the IM has the strongest module in Kerala. For operations down South the IM relies very heavily on the module from Bhatkal in Karnataka which is considered to be strongest apart from Kerala. Bhatkal according to the police has several operatives and is also the home to Riyaz Shahbandri, the founder of the Indian Mujahideen.

What did police find?

The most crucial evidence that the police has is the account of one of the security guards at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. The hunt is on for three men who came that morning at 4 am and planted the bomb. All the three men were dressed as rag-pickers. At 4 am, the security guard in the stadium noticed that a man dressed as a rag picker was hovering around the stadium.

He had a big plastic bag in his hand and he was stopped by the security. However, while checking him nothing was found. He then asked him as to why he was in the stadium this early in the morning. The man told him that he was collecting scrap.

He then left the stadium and in some time he was joined two other men who went along with him to the Anil Kumble circle. The police now suspect that since the security guard did not find anything on this men, they could have planted the bomb much earlier. Intelligence Bureau sources say that all angles to the case point to a terror link.

IPL always a target

The Indian Premier League has always been a target of these terror groups and the statements by Ilyas Kashmiri, too, were very much pointed in this direction.Kashmiri had clearly stated that the IPL was a target and that he would use the Kerala module to carry out such attacks. The IB is also looking at the latest video by the IM which was posted recently on the web through which they were trying to indicate that they would make a come back.

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