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IB had warned that Bengaluru was a target
Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
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July 25, 2008 19:18 IST

The Intelligence Bureau's warning that Bengaluru is a terror target came true when nine low intensity blasts rocked the Karnataka capital. The IB had warned on several occasions that Bangalore is waiting to be attacked and security had to be top notch in the IT capital of the country.

The first time Bangalore was attacked was on December 29, 2005, when terrorists attacked the Indian Institute of Science. A professor was killed in the attack. For many years the investigations into the attack proceeded at a slow pace. However it was only in late 2007 that some progress was made with the arrest of Riazuddin Nasir and his aide Asif in North Karnataka. Their interrogation led to a major crackdown of Students Islamic Movement of India activists across the country, with the largest one being at Indore, which included SIMI's chief of operations Safdar Nagori.

Prior to this, another person, Afsar Pasha was picked up in connection with the IISC attack. The police however did not manage to extract too much information from him. But he did say that terror outfits like the Lashkar-e-Toyiba were planning to attack the state assembly -- Vidhan Soudha, the seat of power in Karnataka.

Also based on the information given by the Bangalore police, the Uttar Pradesh police picked up Sabhahuddin, who allegedly is one of the two persons involved in the IISC attack. During his interrogation and narco analysis test, he revealed how he had carried out the attack with Abu Hamza, who is now hiding in Pakistan.

IB sources told that Friday's blasts were more of a warning signal with an intention to tell the police that despite recent arrests the terrorists were still capable of striking any city.

Bengaluru was always considered to be a sitting duck and the IB had on numerous occasions warned that the city could be attacked. The warnings intensified further with the Bharatiya Janata Party government taking over in Karnataka. In fact SIMI activists in their confessional statement had said they would base out of Karnataka to Goa [Images] but Bangalore will remain a target.

Riazuddin Nasir, one of the SIMI cadres who was arrested in Karnataka said that his main task was to set up sleeper cells in Karnataka and Bengaluru in particular. The IB says that there are around five sleeper cells in Karnataka and two in the vicinity of Bengaluru.

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