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IB: Why smaller towns are targets
Vicky Nanjappa | May 13, 2008 23:20 IST
Intelligence Bureau officials told rediff.com that the serial blasts in Jaipur shows that terrorist outfits are targeting new places with a view of catching security agencies off guard.
Sources in the bureau said there was no prior information regarding an attack on Jaipur. This indicates that the terror modules are targeting places which are not on the radar of the security agencies.
The IB says that they suspect the role of Harkat-ul-Jihadi-e-Islamia and the Student Islamic Movement of India, who have been working in tandem to set up terror modules across the country. The same organisation has been held responsible for the Hyderabad, Uttar Pradesh and Ajmer blasts. Unlike the twin blasts in Hyderabad where ball bearings were used, in the Jaipur blasts, pieces of iron pipes were used as splinters. Even as the police look for more clues, they are also trying to ascertain whether the bombs were triggered of by mobile phones or timer devices.
In the recent past, the IB has warned that the most likely places which are prone to an attack are Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and New Delhi. While the heat was stepped up on these places, other places were ignored. IB sources say that terrorists will continue to target either new places or smaller towns in India.
According to the IB, while there was no specific plan to target Jaipur, Rajasthan has been used by terror modules for the past five years to set up sleeper cells which in turn used to help in the supply of arms and ammunition to the rest of the country. It is also said that Rajasthan was one of the main supply routes for arms.
On October 12, 2005, a suicide bomber detonated a pressure activated bomb at the STF office in Hyderabad which was carried on his backpack thus killing one home guard. During investigations, the police rounded up a couple of persons who said that that they were in Hyderabad waiting for supply of arms and ammunition which was being routed through Rajasthan. The police even suspected that the material used in both the Mecca Masjid blast and the twin blasts in Hyderabad could have been smuggled in through Rajasthan.
IB sources also say that Jaipur had been attacked as nobody was watching this city. The city is a major tourist destination and the maximum damage could have been caused here. The terror outfits had chosen Tuesday as it is an auspicious day for Hindus and crowds are larger at temples.
According to the IB, HuJI and SIMI has been setting up several sleeper cells in Rajasthan since the past one year. It is said that there could be at least 20 sleeper cells in Rajasthan. The IB says three active terror modules in Rajasthan have been neutralized since 2004.