If cops had played the waiting game… Vicky Nanjappa

13 10 2008

October 13, 2008 13:49 IST
Source: rediff

While the Mumbai police claim they have achieved a major breakthrough following the arrests of several youth, allegedly belonging to the Indian Mujahideen [Images], the fact remains that all the security agencies in the country have let the real mastermind, Abdul Subhan, alias Tauqueer slip out of the country.

The narco analysis test conducted on Mohammad Sami [Images], a close aide of Subhan indicates that the police would have had Subhan in their net had they delayed Sami’s arrest by two days.

Sami, who was picked up by the Karnataka police in the third week of September in connection with the Bangalore serial blasts, was subject to a narco analysis test last week.

During his narco analysis Sami said he was supposed to meet Subhan in a place at North Karnataka two days before he was arrested. IB sources say police may have rushed through the arrest of Sami. Had they waited two more days, they could have picked up Subhan, who was to meet Sami.

The IB also says that they had specific information that Sami would meet Subhan in Bijapur. However, Subhan managed to give the slip and flee the country following the arrest of Sami, the IB says.

The narco analysis conducted on Sami further reveals that he was present in Bangalore a few days before and also on the day the Bangalore blasts were executed. He, however, said (during the test) that he had absolutely no idea that Subhan was planning on carrying out blasts in the city.

Sami, in an interview with rediff.com, too had stated that he was unaware of the activities of Subhan.

Sami further reveals that Subhan had called him and asked him to send specific details about a few locations in Bangalore. These were the locations where the bombs finally went off on that dreaded day in Bangalore.

Sami repeatedly said that he was unaware of Subhan’s plan and being close to him he was only carrying out orders. He also said that he had visited the landmark Forum Mall in Bangalore and collected details regarding the same and passed it on to Subhan.

Further, he also collected the telephone numbers and email ids of various SIMI [Images] members and passed it on to Subhan. Sami also said that Subhan was a smart operator. Every time he called, he never revealed the location from where he was calling. All he said was that he wanted to meet up and he used to fix the date and location of the meeting.

Even after the blasts at Bangalore, Subhan had called Sami and told him to meet him in Bijapur. However, two days before they were supposed to meet, Sami was arrested. Subhan then got wind of the fact that he was being hunted and then decided on fleeing the country.

This means that Subhan was very much present in India even after the execution of the Delhi [Images] blasts.

With Sami denying knowledge of the Bangalore blasts, it seems as though the police will have to dig deeper to find the culprit. While it is certain that Subhan played the main role in the Bangalore blasts, Sami will be interrogated further for details on activities of SIMI.

At present he is being held under the following charges — he was a member of the outlawed SIMI; he was in touch with Subhan and; despite the ban on SIMI he organised several meetings for the banned organization.

Major attacks since 2003

25 09 2008

Source: Hindustan times

Septemer 13th 2008 – At least five bombs exploded in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi on Saturday, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen militant group, which has claimed several major attacks in recent months, said it was responsible.

Following is a chronology of some of the major attacks in India in the past five years:

March 13, 2003 – A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.

August 25, 2003 – Two car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai.

August 15, 2004 – A bomb explodes in the northeastern state of Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.

October 29, 2005 – Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.

March 7, 2006 – At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three blasts in the northerly Hindu pilgrimage city of Varanasi.

July 11, 2006 – More than 180 people are killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai that are blamed on Islamist militants.

September 8, 2006 – At least 32 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km (160 miles) northeast of Mumbai.

February 19, 2007 – Two bombs explode aboard a train heading from India to Pakistan; at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis, burn to death.

May 18, 2007 – A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in the southern city of Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.

August 25, 2007 – Three coordinated explosions at an amusement park and a street stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.

May 13, 2008 – Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets of the western city of Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.

July 25 – Eight small bombs hit the IT city of Bangalore, killing at least one woman and wounding at least 15.

July 26 – At least 16 small bombs explode in Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat, killing 45 people and wounding 161. A little-known group called the “Indian Mujahideen” claims responsibility for the attack and the May 13 attack in Jaipur.

September 13 – At least five bombs explode in crowded markets and streets in the heart of New Delhi, killing at least 18 people and injuring scores more. The Indian Mujahideen again claim responsibility.

AP, K’taka engulfed by terror networks

25 08 2008

Source: TOI

HYDERABAD: In what can only be described as an increasingly frustrating feeling, the Andhra Pradesh police has been able to establish that there is a clear link between the terror elements operating in neighbouring Karnataka and those active in Andhra Pradesh soil including Hyderabad, but has not been able to identify and destroy them.

Based on evidence gathered from the twin blasts in Hyderabad last year and on the interrogation of a few arrested persons in Karnataka, the state police conclusively believes that sleeper cells are present in the neighbouring state with elements from the state in active collusion. “The aim of these groups, whether Huji or LET or Simi, is clear. Bangalore and Hyderabad are being chosen as targets because by hitting them, a scare and panic can be conveyed to the US and the West as these two cities are housing those countries’ biggest IT operations,” said an official.

Raziuddin Nasir, a Hyderabad resident, and his accomplice Hafiz Khan Adnan hailing from Bangalore, were arrested under the Honali police station limits near Hubli in Karnataka in January this year as terror suspects. Raziuddin’s father Maulana Naseeruddin, also from Hyderabad, is currently lodged in the Sabarmati Jail in connection with the murder of former Gujarat home minister Hiren Pandiya. Recently, Raziuddin’s elder brother Muqamuddin was arrested in Hyderabad for alleged terror links. What all this proves is that the terror elements between the two states are operating as one group,” said a senior police official.

According to sources, interrogation of the suspects revealed that the October 2005 attack on the office of the special task force in Hyderabad and the December attack at Bangalore’s IISC was carried out by the same elements.

Another clear link between the terror elements in the state and Karnataka is the explosive material used in the blasts. In the Friday blasts in Bangalore, an explosive with an ammonium nitrate base was used while in the Gokul Chat and Lumbini Park blasts in the city in August last year, a similar ammonium nitrate base ‘Neogel 90’ was used.

But while the nexus has been established, the state police has not been able to dismantle a single sleeper cell. “So many suspects have been rounded up in the Mecca Masjid and twin blasts of last year. So many teams have fanned across to Karnataka, Jaipur and other blast sites but after all that, not a single arrest directly related to terrorists could be made. This is what is most frustrating for us,” the official added.

Based on preliminary reports, state police officials have been able to seize a few facts with regard to Friday’s serial blasts in Bangalore. “One that it was a low intensity one intended to create only panic (to reach all the way to the US) and not to cause major casualties. And like the Malegaon and Mecca Masjid blasts, it took place on a Friday during or just after the prayers. The message that is coming across is clear. We are here, we are invisible and can strike at will. This is what the police and the people are being told,” said the official.

Bangalore Blasts

25 07 2008

Courtesy: IBNLIVE.com

Blasts on Friday:

March 12, 1993: Mumbai bombings were a series of thirteen bomb explosions that took place in Mumbai). The single-day attacks resulted in up to 250 civilian fatalities and 700 injuries.

April 14, 2006: Twin blasts took place in Delhi’s Jama Masjid injuring at least 13 people on Friday evening at around 1730 hrs IST.

September 8, 2006: 31 killed, 297 injured in Friday’s twin bomb blast in Malegaon.

November 23, 2007: Multiple blasts in Faizabad, Varanasi, Lucknow within five minutes of each other killing at least 12 people in Uttar Pradesh.

May 18, 2007: Eleven people were killed and more than 50 others injured in a bomb explosion inside Mecca Mosque located near the historic Charminar in Hyderabad.

Following is a chronology of twelve major blasts that took place in India in last five years:

March 13, 2003: A bomb attack on a commuter train in Mumbai kills 11 people.

August 25, 2003: Two almost simultaneous car bombs kill about 60 in Mumbai.

August 15, 2004: Bomb explodes in Assam, killing 16 people, mostly schoolchildren, and wounding dozens.

October 29, 2005: Sixty-six people are killed when three blasts rip through markets in New Delhi.

March 7, 2006: At least 15 people are killed and 60 wounded in three explosions in Varanasi.

July 11, 2006: More than 180 people were killed in seven bomb explosions at railway stations and on trains in Mumbai, blamed on Islamist militants.

September 8, 2006: At least 32 people are killed in a series of explosions, including one near a mosque, in Malegaon town, 260 km northeast of Mumbai.

February 19, 2007: Two bombs explode aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, burning to death at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis.

May 18, 2007: A bomb explodes during Friday prayers at a historic mosque in Hyderabad, killing 11 worshippers. Police later shoot dead five people in clashes with hundreds of enraged Muslims who protest against the attack.

August 25, 2007: Three explosions within minutes at an amusement park and a street-side food stall in Hyderabad kill at least 40 people.

May 13, 2008: Seven bombs rip through the crowded streets Jaipur, killing at least 63 people in markets and outside Hindu temples.

July 25, 2008: Seven blasts strike the IT city of Bangalore killing at least one person and injuring at least 15.

Why terrorists struck Bangalore ?

25 07 2008

Why terrorists struck Bangalore
B Raman

December 29, 2005

Retired Professor Emeritus in the mathematics department of Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi, M C Puri, was killed and four serving scientists were injured when an unidentified gunman opened fire indiscriminately on a group of scientists as they were coming out of a conference hall in the prestigious Indian Institute of Science campus in Bangalore on Wednesday.
The victims — largely Indian with some foreigners — who were attending an international conference on research relating to infrastructure, were reportedly walking to an adjacent building for dinner at the end of the day’s proceedings.

The person or persons responsible for the attack have not so far been arrested or identified. The incident has coincided with the reported shifting of Abu Salem [Images], a member of the mafia group headed by the Karachi-based Dawood Ibrahim [Images], to Bangalore to undergo a lie detector and other forensic tests in connection with the investigation into his alleged involvement in the serial Mumbai blasts of March 1993, in which nearly 250 innocent civilians were killed.

First look: Terror strikes Bangalore

The explosions were carried out by Dawood Ibrahim, then based in Dubai, with the help of some Mumbai-based Muslims, who were taken to Pakistan via Dubai and got trained and armed by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence.

Abu Salem, who was arrested by the Portuguese authorities, was recently extradited by them to India after he and Monica Bedi [Images], a woman companion of his, had completed a prison sentence in Portugal after having been convicted on charges of entering Portugal with false travel documents. There is so far no evidence to connect the shooting incident with the shifting of Abu Salem.

Sleeper cells of pro-Al Qaeda jihadi terrorist organisations of Pakistan and Bangladesh operating in South India have come to the notice of the police from time to time.
The most active in South India has been the Lashkar e Tayiba followed by the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami.

The cop who warned of attack on Bangalore

Occasionally, there have also been reports of the presence and activities of other Pakistan-based organisations such as the Hizbul Mujahideen — an indigenous Kashmiri organisation whose Amir, Syed Salahuddin, operates from Pakistan — and the Jaish e Mohammad, a Pakistani organisation like the LeT and the HUJI.

Of these organisations, the LeT has been the most active.

While its activities in Jammu and Kashmir [Images] and other north Indian states are controlled from its headquarters at Muridke, near Lahore [Images], in Pakistan, its activities in western and southern India are controlled by its headquarters in Saudi Arabia and occasionally from Dubai.

Its sleeper cells in South India operate either under the name of the LeT or under other names such as the Muslim Defence Force in Tamil Nadu. While the activities of the HUJI in J&K and other parts of North India are controlled by its headquarters in Pakistan, its activities in southern Thailand, Myanmar, and East and South India are believed to be controlled by its branch office in Bangladesh.

The LeT, the HUJI and the JeM — all of whom are members of Osama bin Laden’s International Islamic Front for Jihad Against the Crusaders and the Jewish People — look upon J&K, Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh and Junagadh in Gujarat as rightfully belonging to Pakistan.

Karnataka to review Bangalore security

They want to ‘liberate’ them from Indian control as a first step in their plan to ‘liberate’ the Muslims of North and South India and incorporate their ‘homelands’ in the so-called Islamic Caliphate advocated by bin Laden.

They also similarly want to ‘liberate’ the Muslim majority areas of Sri Lanka’s [Images] Eastern Province.

In addition to such political and religious reasons, their focus on South India has also a strongly economic angle. That is the large concentration of information technology and outsourcing companies — Indian as well as foreign — in Bangalore, Hyderabad and Chennai.
A defining characteristic of the post-9/11 terrorist strikes of al Qaeda and the IIF has been to step up acts of economic terrorism. The terrorist strikes in Bali, Mombasa in Kenya, on the French oil tanker Limburg, Casablanca in Morocco, Istanbul in Turkey, and Egypt had a strong economic motivation.

Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai, in the calculation of the terrorists and their sponsors in Pakistan, are attractive targets for acts of economic terrorism.

They believe successful acts of economic terrorism there could affect an important source of India’s foreign exchange earnings, keep foreign information technology companies away from India and affect India’s stock market, which attracts a large volume of foreign institutional investment based on the value of the shares of the IT companies.

Since General Pervez Musharraf [Images] seized power in Pakistan in October 1999, he has embarked on a programme for the diversification of the Pakistani economy, which is now mainly dependent on the export of textiles, sports and leather goods. In this connection, considerable attention is being paid, with Chinese assistance, to develop Pakistan’s IT capability and attract foreign software and outsourcing companies to Pakistan.

The ISI too calculates that uncertainties in the minds of foreign IT and outsourcing companies about security conditions in South India could benefit Pakistan.

After the neutralisation of a sleeper cell of the LeT in Delhi in March, the Delhi police had repeatedly been sounding wake-up calls about the plans of jihadi terrorists to target IT companies in Bangalore.

Media reports have also been speaking of a number of hoax threats addressed to IT companies in Bangalore since March. The recent hoax message of an attempt by the Al Qaeda [Images] to blow up the Indian Parliament had also reportedly originated from Thirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, a hotbed of the activities of the Al Ummah, which had organised a number of serial blasts at Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu in February 1998.

All these were not hoax calls from pranksters trying to create a sensation. These were probably hoax messages of suspected jihadi terrorists, apparently trying to test the reflexes of the security authorities and create in their mind a hoax fatigue.

Why did the persons responsible for Wednesday’s incident target the scientists attending an international conference? It does not appear to have been a targeted attempt to kill any particular scientist though media reports speak of the presence of some space scientists in the conference.

South India in general and Bangalore in particular not only have a large concentration of IT experts, but also famous scientists. How to strengthen physical security in South India without creating unnecessary alarm and nervousness, which could economically prove counter-productive?

This is a question that needs urgent attention from the Government of India and the four state governments.

Also seeBosnia and Hyderabad

Jihadi terrorism: The Saudi connection

Mumbai: The jihadi iceberg

The Delhi blasts: What next?

Jihad: Linkages between jihadis of Singapore and India

Following is a chronology of some recent major bomb blasts in the country:

May 13, 2008: Eight blasts rock Jaipur in a span of 12 minutes leaving 65 dead and over 150 injured.

January 2008: Terrorist attack on Central Reserve Police Force camp in Rampur kills eight.

October 2007: 2 killed in a blast inside Ajmer Sharif shrine during Ramadan, in Rajasthan.

August 2007: 32 dead, 35 hurt in Hyderabad ‘terror’ strike.

May 2007: A bomb at Mecca mosque in Hyderabad kills 11 people.

February 19, 2007: Two bombs explode aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, burning to death at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis.

September 2006: 30 dead and 100 hurt in twin blasts at a mosque in Malegaon, Maharashtra.

July 2006: Seven bombs on Mumbai’s trains kill over 200 and injure 700 others.

March 2006: Twin bombings at a train station and a temple in Varanasi kill 20 people.

October 2005: Three bombs placed in busy New Delhi markets a day before Diwali kill 62 people and injure hundreds.

Terrorism: The Enemy Within

25 07 2008

January 02, 2006 Bangalore is learning what Delhi and Mumbai have long known, that being a major metropolis attracts not just venture capitalists but also the third rate scum known as terrorists. Just as Delhi is the political capital and Mumbai our financial HQ so is Bangalore the heart of the Indian software industry. It was thus only a matter of time before terrorists struck — as they did when they murdered Professor M C Puri, and seriously injured four others including one of the inventors of the Simputer, Professor Vijay Chandru from the Indian Institute of Science.

Truth be told, this attack is something that several senior people had been fretting about for quite a while. I understand General Balraj Singh Takhar, head of the Southern Command, mused aloud on the terrorist threat barely a few weeks ago. Now that the long dreaded event has finally happened it is time to understand something else: Bangalore will not be the last place in South India to be attacked by terrorists.

Intelligence agencies know that the recent threat to blow up Parliament House originated in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu. Ten years ago we saw the bomb blasts that shook Coimbatore, and subsequently led to riots. Money laundering operations have been traced to Coimbatore and to Guruvayur in Kerala [Images]. And public memory is not so short that we have all forgotten the manner in which Hindus were carefully targeted in the Marad massacres in Kerala.

I cannot help recalling something a very senior intelligence man told me shortly after the brutal killings in Marad. “A bacterium lives outside the cell — like the terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir. But a virus infects the cell and lives inside it — and that is the danger we face in Kerala.”Let us not forge that the hijackers who flew planes into the World Trade Center [Images] on September 11 had lived unmolested in the very heart of the United States. I fear that we too are in danger from these ‘viruses.’ Most of the intelligence officers to whom I have spoken tell me, off the record, that the home-grown terrorist is the minor threat.

Over 70% of the terrorists operating in India are believed to be foreigners, not just Pakistanis but from at least ten other nationalities. In fact, some in Delhi believe that the primary threat could be coming from Bangladesh rather than Pakistan.I know perfectly well that the dyed-in-the-wool ‘secularists’ will jump all over me for this, but have you considered the dangers of Bangladeshi infiltration in India? There are at least one crore illegal migrants from Bangladesh in India. 99% of them may be economic migrants (though that is no excuse for tolerating the pests). But what if the remaining one per cent bear terrorist leanings? One crore is a gigantic figure; even 1% of that comes to 100,000. That is far too big a risk to take. But no government in Delhi has tackled this menace as seriously as it ought.

Bangladesh: Next terror frontier?

In fact, every attempt to tackle illegal migration has been met with howls of protest. Politicians fear loss of votes if the police is set to seriously ferret the Bangladeshis. It is very late in the day but some intelligent politicians have finally got the message. And even the chief minister of West Bengal has complained about the menace caused by the unchecked flow of migrants from Bangladesh.That does not mean, of course, that the events in Bangalore were the work of Bangladesh-based terrorists. India, sadly, has no dearth of enemies, whether we look east, north, or south.Let us also be very clear about another thing: India is on the target map of global terrorism. Mullah Omar, the one-eyed chief of the Taliban, and Osama bin Laden have both been quoted as saying that India is one of the four major enemies, the others being the United States, Russia [Images], and Israel.

No prizes for guessing which of the four is the ‘softest’ State!Osama bin Laden has indicated his desire to do more than just ‘liberate’ Jammu & Kashmir. He has entertained mad notions of tearing Hyderabad, Junagadh, and the Muslim-majority areas of Kerala out of the Indian Republic. (As also parts of Thailand and Sri Lanka [Images].) The fact that Osama bin Laden may be driven by delusions of grandeur should not blind us to the fact that even a madman’s threats may be real enough.That is a mistake that many of us made in South India. To us, despite the evidence of Coimbatore and Marad, terrorism was something to be associated with places like Kashmir and Assam. It was a problem that was a headache only for people north of the Vindhyas. The murder of Professor Puri should serve as a wake-up call for everyone.

T V R Shenoy