Al-Qaeda might well be losing its sheen before the growing clout of Islamic State globally, but its bomb making literature is emerging as favourite guidebook for lone-wolf SIMI and Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives to unleash terror in India.
Ongoing quizzing of the four suspected SIMI operatives arrested last month from Odisha has revealed that they and other lone wolf attackers had learnt from al-Qaeda literature how to make bombs and trigger blasts in the country.
The four SIMI men who had escaped from Tantya Bheel Jail in Khandwa district of Madhya Pradesh on October 1, 2013 have revealed during questioning by intelligence agencies and MP ATS, that they had learnt how to make low intensity pressure bombs out of al-Qaeda’s bomb making literature.
The pipe borne explosives were subsequently triggered with the help of timer device in May 2014 in the Bengaluru-Guwahati Express train at Chennai railway station. Similar explosive was used to trigger blast in the Faraskhana police station premises at Pune in July 2014, central intelligence and MP ATS sources confided to Hindustan Times on Monday.
However, a similar explosive blasted while being prepared by the SIMI men at their hideout in West UP’s Bijnor, resulting in severe burn injuries to one of them, Sheikh Mehboob alias Guddu in September 2014.
The four SIMI operatives, including Sheikh Mehboob alias Guddu, Zaqir, Amjad and Mohd Saliq, who were arrested from their hideout in Odisha’s Rourkela district on February 17 are presently being grilled by MP ATS and central intelligence agencies.
Al-Qaeda bomb making material was also used by another group of lone wolf attackers
ccording to central intelligence sources, the same al-Qaeda bomb making material was also used by another group of lone wolf attackers led by Haidar Ali alias Black Beauty to trigger five blasts around the world famous Bodh Gaya shrine in Gaya (Bihar) in July 2013 and blasts at Patna railway station and then NDA prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rally at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on October 27, 2013.
Importantly, the Khandwa SIMI fugitives leader Abu Faisal alias Doctor had met the Bodh Gaya and Patna serial blasts mastermind Haidar Ali in Ranchi just a few days before the Patna blasts.
There’s strong possibility of Haidar’s SIMI-turned Indian Mujahideen module in Ranchi having used pen drives and e-mail attachments to share al-Qaeda bomb making literature to MP’s SIMI fugitives.
While Faisal was arrested from Sendhwa town of MP’s Barwani district in December 2013, Haidar and aides were arrested on Ranchi’s outskirts in May 2014.
Pune and Chennai blasts to avenge killings
Grilling of SIMI men has revealed that the two low intensity blasts in the Bengaluru-Guwahati tri-weekly Express train at Chennai railway station in May 2014 was carried out to avenge the reported throwing of 14 Muslim men out of a special Bengaluru-Guwahati train near West Bengal’s New Jalpaiguri railway station in 2012.
The SIMI men have also admitted of carrying out the blasts inside the Faraskhana police station premises in Pune in July 2014 to avenge the gunning down of an alleged SIMI operative by the Pune ATS in Aurangabad district of Maharashtra in March 2012.
The six SIMI men also harboured plan to trigger similar blast at an RSS camp in Muzaffarnagar district of UP in 2014, to avenge 2013 communal riots. Their leader Abu Faisal had visited the riot victims camp in Muzaffarnagar and also done the recee of the venue of the proposed RSS camp in September 2014, but owing to blasts in the preparatory explosive at their hideout in Bijnor foiled their plans.