At a dingy room in west Delhi's Nangloi, just 30km from Parliament, the Indian Mujahideen (IM) operatives arrested by the Delhi Police's Special Cell had almost perfected one of the deadliest weapons used in unconventional warfare the world over.
This, sources claimed, was clearly a decisive shift from their old modus operandi of using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to perpetrate acts of terror — so far, employed in three cities over two years.
The pan-India module of the terror outfit had now successfully engineered its own version of the M6 Bazooka and was directing its efforts and resources towards creating small, rapid-firing arms similar to the ones used in the 2010 Jama Masjid attack.
“An unassembled version of the weapon’s barrel, two inches in diameter and eight inches in length, was recovered from their den in Meer Vihar, which they had modelled as a kind of central ordnance factory. Weapons made here could also be supplied to other operatives active across the country," said a senior police officer.
The unfinished weapon, which could have been used to lob everything from small rockets to grenades and even tear gas shells, was found to be completely 'home-made' and was just an inch from perfection.
Conventional, factory-made M6, M7 and M10 bazooka barrels are usually 2.35 inches in diameter and the length of their barrels vary between eight and 10 inches, sources said.
Though CFSL reports about small quantities of powdery explosives - both black and white -- recovered from the same IM den are yet to come through, sources claim the module wanted to duplicate 26/11-like 'storm attacks' in busy Delhi markets.
"They had conducted recces of busy markets in the city and were making efforts to make a cache of rapid-fire arms, which could be used to spray bullets on unsuspecting shoppers - just like the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks,” the officer said.
Their aim, police said, was clearly to ensure that history in the form of the Jama Masjid attack, in which bullets were sprayed on a Taiwanese film crew outside the ancient mosque would repeat itself again.