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Did IM activate sleeper cell for Bangalore blast?

April 24, 2013 14:19 IST

Police are looking at members of the Al-Ummah outfit, who may have been motivated by the IM to carry out the blast near the BJP office in Bangalore. Vicky Nanjappa reports

Did the Indian Mujahideen activate a sleeper cell of the Al-Ummah to carry out the blasts in Bangalore? This is the main line of investigation by the police even as they have detained five more suspects in Tamil Nadu in connection with the case.

The three persons who were arrested on Tuesday subscribed to the ideology of the Al-Ummah which has always made the Bharatiya Janata Party as its primary target. The police say that at this time too, the primary target was the BJP office in Malleshwaram. The initial plan was to plant the bomb in front of the BJP office. However due to a rush as part of the elections, many persons were chased away as it was causing a disturbance. The bombers were also part of that crowd. They decided to go around 100 meters away and plant the bomb instead and this despite the fact there was a police van close by.

Today with the detention of five more suspects, the police are trying to find out if they had conducted a reccee of the site. Moreover the motor cycle link is not yet clear.

The Indian Mujahideen was not directly involved with the attack, investigations so far show. But the question is how did these members of the Al-Ummah manage to carry out such an attack? The police feel that they had the support of an outfit which was strong and hence the finger is being pointed towards the IM.

Bangalore and the BJP are very much IM targets. However they have been looking for groups in southern India which could be self sufficient. The Al-Ummah was the perfect outfit for them. There has been a lot of activity by the IM in Tamil Nadu, especially Coimbatore. Until last year there was a massive presence of the IM in this state.

Although some of the members were arrested and questioned there was nothing to show that they were even planning an attack in Tamil Nadu. Today the picture is becoming clearer and further investigation would go on to show that the IM has been trying to activate a couple of dead terrorist outfits.

Intelligence Bureau sources say that this is something that the IM has been doing in several places in the country. They may not be able to activate the group as a whole, but they have identified members who were formerly with the group or subscribe to its ideology and activate them. The IM normally helps out in imparting skills regarding bomb making. They also tell them on how to raise funds for such operations apart from conducting a recee of an identified blast site.

This investigation aspect is very important as it would help the police crack an entirely new pattern. It is something on the lines of what the Lashkar-e-Tayiba did when it set up the Indian Mujahideen. Did the IM do something similar in Bangalore? This is something that is being explored by all agencies in the country.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore