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India has got a new terror threat: Bullet 313

July 16, 2011 13:16 IST

Indian investigators are looking into a relatively new terror module known as the Bullet 313 brigade.

It is evident that the name of the outfit has been inspired by the Ilyas Kashmiri led 313 brigade of the Al Qaeda.

Indian Mujahideen, the terror outfit suspected to be behind the Mumbai serial blasts, was formed four years ago. Investigators initially suspected that it was an offshoot of the Students Islamic Movement of India, which was merely using a new name to throw investigators off guard.

The appearance of Bullet 313 brigade seems to be a deliberate ploy to keep the investigators from focusing on the IM.

Though investigators have been confused over the name change, they realise now that all these terror organisations follow the same ideology.

According to sources in the Intelligence Bureau, Bullet 313 is a fringe group of the Indian Mujahideen, which has created an outfit like this. When the IM carried out the blasts in Uttar Pradeshs, it announced its mission to the world by sending out emails.

But Bullet 313 has made no attempts to attract any kind of attention and this indicates that they want to maintain a low profile.

According to sources, the Bullet 313 brigade was conceptualised a few months after the Batla House encounter as the IM was facing too much heat from investigators.

Bullet 313 brigade may have its roots in the UAE where several IM operatives have sough refuge. It doesn't yet enjoy the patronage of the Inter Services Intelligence as it needs to carry out deadlier attacks for that. The Mumbai serial blasts could be the first step in that direction.

The investigators are focusing two youth -- Shakeel and Nizamuddin -- who are suspected IM members. Agencies believe that these two youths who are close to Dr Shahnawaz and Asadullah Akthar, wanted accused in the Varanasi blasts, could have been behind the formation of Bullet 313.

"We are sure that the youth who formed this new outfit are members of the IM. Throwing up news names will only lead to confusion and we would like to focus on specific leads," said an official.

Vicky Nanjappa