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Home > News > Report

Terror attacks: There is a need for a more vigilant IB

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore | November 25, 2007 14:41 IST

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Hyderabad, Ajmer, Ludhiana and now Uttar Pradesh. All these places have been attacked and trails of destruction left behind thanks to senseless acts of terror. While on the one hand we moan the loss of lives, on the other hand, we just wait endlessly for the guilty to be smoked out of their caves and brought to book.

In other words the terror attacks are no longer signature in nature, which in turn has managed to fox investigating agencies.

Following every terror attack, sketches of suspects are released, investigation goes on in full swing and then there is a famous end to all this. The cops are clueless and terror continues unabated.

At least a year back, an investigating agency could tell which organisation is behind the attack. Even if the guilty was not brought to book, investigating agencies could place the blame on one particular organisation and in the bargain step up the heat internationally on the outfit.

However of late, there seems to be just guess work going on.

Following the Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad, the investigating agencies were able to pinpoint and tell that it was the dreaded Harkat ul Jihad Islami which was behind the attack.

One could tell the name of the outfit from the manner in which the bomb had been assembled.

At Mecca Masjid, RDX and TNT were used to make the bomb.

This was packed in a box, placed inside a bag and powered by a cell phone device.

All HuJI operations in the past have been similar in nature. Although the police blame HuJI for the twin blasts in Hyderabad too, they were foxed initially.

In the twin blasts, gelatin sticks Neogel-90, an ammonium nitrate-based emulsifier was used to power the blasts. The bombs had been powered by a timer device by using a clock.

Following this attack was the Ajmer blasts which was very similar in nature to the Mecca Masjid blasts. In all these three operations, the HuJI had been blamed. But unlike the earlier days, the police were not able to tell for sure whether the HuJI or some other outfit was behind the blasts.

Although the Ludhiana blasts, which took place almost four days after the Ajmer blasts were similar in nature, the police claim that this could have been the handiwork of the Sikh militants.

Take a look at the UP blasts. Although initially the police blamed the HuJI, they changed their version following an e-mail sent by a little known outfit known as the Indian Mujhahideen.

Moreover, crude bombs were used in several places which again made investigating agencies think twice before blaming any particular terrorist outfit.

So what does one make out of this? Thanks to the international community stepping up the heat on terrorist outfits, terror attacks are no longer signature. Gone are those days, when terror outfits came out in the open and claimed responsibility for the attacks.

These outfits now know that by claiming responsibility the heat is stepped up on them instantly hence, making it difficult for them to carry out operations in quick succession.

Praveen Singh, a retired Information Bureau official in New Delhi says that outfits such as HuJI belong to the new school of terrorism. Their mindset revolves more around causing destruction and communal violence rather than driving across a point to any nation.

The HuJI is one outfit which has never openly claimed responsibility for any attack, which goes on to show that they prefer remaining low key.

The UP incident has however left police officers foxed. The e-mail which was sent following the attack was a first of its kind and no outfit has claimed responsibility in the past through e-mails.

There are conflicting views that are coming out regarding the Indian Mujahedeen who had sent the email claiming responsibility.

The police say that it is a fake outfit, the IB maintains that the Indian Mujhahideen comprises HuJI and Students Islamic Movement of India activists. While their intention of creating communal trouble has not been too successful in the past, they have decided to change the name of the organisation and are trying to legitimise terrorism in the country by giving it a social dimension.

Apart from this the email also claims that it is not against creating a rift between two communities, but were out to create a social awareness in society which could be achieved only through jihad.

The UP police, however, say that this is another tactic to divert the investigation. The use of crude bombs, targeting court premises are all means to believe that the attack was not the handiwork of a terror outfit.

The Union Home Ministry, however, says that there is every reason to believe that the attack was carried out by a professional outfit as the blasts were precise and serial in nature.

This is something new that the investigating agencies have to deal with. There is a need for a more vigilant IB, which ought to give more information before rather than after an attack.

In the future, terrorists will come out with more methods to fox investigating agencies and to round it off, gone are the days of signature attacks. The times sure are changing.