Assam blasts :New Terror group emerges few more suspects

31 10 2008
Guwahati, Oct 31 (PTI) Little-known Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen (ISF-IM) today claimed responsibility for the serial blasts that killed 77 people in Assam and warned of more such attacks.
In an SMS message sent to local ‘News Live’ television channel, the ISF-IM claimed responsibility for yesterday’s blasts and threatened to carry out more bomb explosions in several parts of the country.

The message said, “we thank all our holy members and partners” for successfully carrying out the task.

The SMS was received on the mobile of the channel’s input desk from a Reliance connection with the number 98646-93690.

The mobile phone was subsequently switched off and security forces traced it to Moirabari in Central Assam’s Nagaon district registered in the name of one Nazir Ahmed.

Police officials are investigating the matter.

The outfit was formed in 2000 in Lower Assam’s Bodo-dominated areas “to counter” the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) and NDFB militants, police sources said.

The full text of the SMS is: “We, ISF-IM, take the responsibility of yesterday blast. We warn all of Assam and India for situation like this in future. We thank all our holy members and partners. AAamin.” PTI


Here are some of the main groups suspected to be behind the attacks:
Source: Reuters

* ULFA The United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) is Assam’s major separatist group that has been fighting since 1979. It accuses New Delhi of plundering the state’s mineral resources and giving back nothing in return. ULFA is often blamed for attacks in Assam, but the group has denied responsibility for the Oct 30 blasts.

* HuJI Harkat-ul-Jehad al Islami (HuJI) is a Bangladeshi militant Islamist group that has often been suspected of attacks on Indian cities. HuJI has been linked to ULFA. Assam has a long-simmering conflict between its indigenous population and Bangladeshi immigrants, many of them illegal. Mainly Hindu tribesmen fear being overrun by Muslims, who make up 40 percent of the state. Indian police say HuJI is also connected to the little-known Indian Mujahideen group, which claimed responsibility for a series of bomb attacks in Indian cities in 2008. HuJI was blamed for the 2004 bombing of a political rally addressed by former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and an attack on Bangladeshi born British High Commissioner Anwar Chowdhury.

* Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JuM) is another Bangladeshi militant Islamist group trying to turn the mainly Muslim country into a sharia state. Members of the group exploded more than 500 bombs across Bangladesh simultaneously in August 2005, killing six people. Some of its top leaders have been hanged but law enforcement agencies say hundreds of militants remain in hiding.

* Lashkar-e-Taiba Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a Pakistani militant group which New Delhi says plays a leading role in supporting an insurgency in Indian Kashmir, may not be directly linked with the Assam bombs, but the group has ideological links with HuJI. LeT is also said to train ULFA cadres. New Delhi has accused LeT of involvement in attacks across India in the past. The group, which figures on the U.S. list of terrorist organisations, is officially banned in Pakistan. But India says it still operates there with impunity after changing its name. Indian police say the outfit is also connected to the Indian Mujahideen, a new group which has claimed responsibility for a slew of attacks in India since last year.

(Compiled by Matthias Williams; Editing by Krittivas Mukherjee and Sanjeev Miglani)

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