Although the immediate provocation can be the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru — as claimed by the sources — Hyderabad had been on the IM radar from July last year.
“Two IM operatives had done a recee of Dilsukhnagar, the area that saw the blasts on Thursday, on the orders of IM leader Riyaz Bhatkal,” said a source. Bhatkal has been hiding in Pakistan since the Batla House encounter in Delhi in September 2008.
The duo — Syed Maqbool and Imran, arrested by Delhi Police for involvement in the Pune blasts of August 2012 — revealed that they also did a recee of Hyderabad’s Begum Bazaar and Abids areas on a motorcycle.
The source said, "Before they could execute the Hyderabad plan, Bhatkal asked them to carry out blasts in Pune to avenge the murder of one Qateel Siddiqui, an IM operative, in the city jail."
Maqbool and his group had also planned to attack the Buddhist shrines in Bodh Gaya in Bihar "in retaliation of the alleged atrocities on Muslims in Myanmar", the source said.
Investigators say Maqbool was associated with Azam Gauri, a Hyderabad resident who was instrumental in setting up the first module of jehadis after the Babri Masjid demolition of December 6, 1992.
The module was behind the first organised jehadi strike on the first anniversary of Babri demolition. Gauri was offered the post of president of the Students Islamic Movement of India in its Aurangabad convention in 1999.