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Lessons from the Jaipur blasts

Vicky Nanjappa in Jaipur | August 05, 2008 17:28 IST
Last Updated: August 05, 2008 17:33 IST


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The serial blasts that rocked Jaipur [Images] on May 13, killing over 60 people, showed that terrorists could strike anywhere and at anytime in the country.

On March 27, when 10 members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India were arrested at Indore, security agencies claimed it was a major breakthrough and that it would destabilise the terror network in the country. Just two months after the arrests, Jaipur was attacked.

The Jaipur police (Special Operations Group), who has been investigating the case, blamed the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, and, of course, Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence for having masterminded the attacks. The police also concluded that the blasts in Hyderabad and Ajmer were directly linked to the blasts in Jaipur.

The Jaipur police picked up nearly 50 people for questioning from Bharatpur [Images]. A police officer in Jaipur involved in the investigation told rediff.com that the concentration is on Bharatpur as the police has information that some people involved in the blasts are hiding there.

Special: In India, we don't catch terrorists

Although the police have not got anything substantial from those arrested, it has confiscated several fake documents and established that these men received monetary assistance from other states. On the basis of their statements, the police detained nearly 50 people. Several people have been released after questioning; others are still in custody as the police expect more leads from them.

The SIMI [Images] link: Intelligence Bureau officials told rediff.com that the blasts were engineered by HuJI and executed by SIMI. They claim the entire operation was overseen by Shibly Peedicaal Abdul, who was arrested two months before the Jaipur blasts. IB agents believe the blasts were planned five months in advance at various SIMI meetings in Karnataka and Maharashtra. While Safdar Nagori, SIMI's chief of operations, was more involved in combat training, Shibly Abdul, a Malayalee who was his second in command, was in charge of executing the blasts.

The one billion+ cannon-fodder

IB officers say the ISI picked the Lashkar and HuJI for its India operations. These two terror outfits plan an attack and direct SIMI to execute it as the banned outfit is more familiar with the Indian terrain.

The Jaipur blasts, sources say, were funded by HuJI who also suggested the use of Neogel-90 due to its easy availability in the market. Over time, smuggling RDX had become tough as security on the borders had become tight.

The Jaipur police say the bombs were assembled at Chandni Chowk in New Delhi [Images]. They feel the bombs may have been assembled a week before the attacks following which it was brought to Jaipur and placed on cycles and triggered using a timer device. Police sources told this correspondent that they arrived at this conclusion as similar bags, timer devices and ball bearings were available at Chandni Chowk.

The police believe the Neogel-90 could have been bought from quarries in south India. The Neogel-90 used in the Hyderabad blasts was bought in Andhra Pradesh.

Why terrorists attack soft targets

Joint operations: The investigation into the Jaipur blasts ensured that security agencies from across the country have started working together. The IB says that sharing of information and working in tandem has improved considerably as the investigating agencies realise that the blasts are interlinked. Police teams from Karnataka, Rajasthan, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Uttar Pradesh [Images] are working jointly on the investigation. Based on the shared information, they have come to the conclusion that the blasts were masterminded by HuJI and executed by SIMI leader Shibly Abdul.

While the larger picture has been cracked, the Jaipur police continue to search for those who planted the bombs.

The IB feels six or more people planted the bombs and may have fled across the border after the attack.

Images: India's most wanted






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