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.

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