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Deconstructing the nuclear daydreams of an Indian terrorist

December 31, 2013 14:33 IST

The nuclear daydreams of an Indian terrorist

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Vicky Nanjappa

Security experts help Vicky Nanjappa debunk some of the nuclear fantasies crafted by Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal

Terrorist mastermind Yasin Bhatkal has managed to make quite a splash with his claim that the Indian Mujahideen, under his leadership, had planned to launch a debilitating terror strike in Surat, Gujarat with the help of a ‘small nuclear weapon’.

Bhatkal, currently in the custody of Delhi police, may continue narrating his disturbing dreams about unleashing nuclear terrorism on India. But chances of terror groups actually pulling off such a ghastly attack are practically nil, say experts.

Click on NEXT to read some of Bhatkal’s tallest claims, debunked by officials of the Intelligence Bureau...

 




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The nuclear daydreams of an Indian terrorist

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Vicky Nanjappa

What Yasin Bhatkal says: In the months before his arrest, the IM was planning to carry out a terror strike in Surat by exploding a ‘small’ nuclear bomb.

What intelligence agencies say: Terrorists often brag about their prowess and exaggerate their ‘missions’ when they are being interrogated.

Forget a nuclear bomb, the IM has not even learnt how to use an electronic timer to trigger off bombs.

During a raid at an apartment in Mangalore –- used by Bhatkal and his aides Tehsin Akthar and Assadullah Akthar  -- police found a variety of timers which are used in electronic clocks and mobile phones. Evidently, the IM operatives were toying with the idea of using such a timer, but eventually stuck to the tried-and-tested quartz timer.

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The nuclear daydreams of an Indian terrorist

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Vicky Nanjappa

What Yasin Bhatkal says: Riyaz Bhatkal had assured him that a nuclear bomb “could be arranged”.

What intelligence agencies say: The IM is finding it difficult to access even RDX due to the heightened security along India’s borders.

Getting its hands on nuclear weapons -- which are fortified by impregnable security covers by nations which possess them -- is nothing but a mere fantasy for the terror group.

Today, the only way the Indian Mujahideen can access RDX is by either stealing it from an army store room of or smuggling it in. Both methods are equally risky as most security agencies have become extra vigilant.

The inability to access RDX has forced the IM to improvise while assembling bombs.

The terror group now uses ammonium nitrate which, in spite of strict guidelines and security measures, is still relatively easy to obtain.

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Image: Pakistan army soldiers stand guard at the Minhas base at Kamra in Punjab province. Minhas is one of the many Pakistan army bases where the country's nuclear stockpile is believed to be stocked
Photographs: Mian Khursheed/Reuters

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The nuclear daydreams of an Indian terrorist

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Vicky Nanjappa

What Yasin Bhatkal says: The IM had been planning the logistics of such a strike in the months before his arrest.

What intelligence agencies say: The 'guardian angel' of India’s terror groups -- Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence -- would never allow them to use such a lethal weapon.

Such a bomb would attract an incredible amount of international attention, not to mention universal condemnation, and bring unimaginable pressure on Pakistan.

Pakistan is anyway not on the greatest terms with the West nowadays, and the ISI has no plans of risking the bare minimum credibility Islamabad has left.

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Image: Police escort Yasin Bhatkal outside a court in Delhi
Photographs: Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

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The nuclear daydreams of an Indian terrorist

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Vicky Nanjappa

What Yasin Bhatkal says: The IM wanted to put up posters in mosques across Surat to warn members of the Muslim community about the impending attack.

The terror group wanted to ensure that no Muslim lives were lost in the nuclear disaster.

What intelligence agencies say: The theory is silly as no terror organisation worth its salt would put up posters about a terror strike.

The IM barely had any support from the Muslim community in Surat. To make matters worse for the terror group, the city police had several informers within the minority community who would have revealed details of the ‘nuclear strike’ and thwarted the cowardly plan.

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Image: Dancers perform Garba, a traditional folk dance, during the celebrations to mark the Navratri festival at Surat
Photographs: Amit Dave/Reuters
Tags: IM , Surat , Muslim

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