It now transpires that Delhi was in the crosshairs of unknown terrorists all along, and that was known to India’s security agencies.
Suspects arrested for Ahmedabad and Bangalore explosions in July had confessed that to their interrogators. This was together called ‘Operation B-A-D (Bangalore- Ahmedabad-Delhi)’, a source said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday he had alerted both Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and national security advisor M.K. Narayanan about an attack on Delhi.
Abdul Bashar, who is in the custody of the Gujarat police, was in Delhi for three days two months ago. He was later arrested, but not much is known about his Delhi visit.
Investigators are probing his involvement and that of two other leaders of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) — software engineer Abdus Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqir Bilal and Qayamuddin alias Ashfaque.
In an email sent after the first blast Indian Mujahideen, a shadowy outfit that behind the Bangalore and Ahmedabad blasts, claimed credit for the Saturday explosions — Indian Mujahideen.
Not much is known of this outfit. It is variously seen as a hardline splinter group of SIMI. Or a bunch of SIMI activists who have managed to evade the recent arrests that were supposed to have crippled SIMI.
The email was written in flawless English and was sent from an address that couldn’t be traced to anyone. And it carried a picture of Qutubuddin, man who has become the face of the Gujarat riots – the one with folded hands.
The email landed even before all the nine bombs mentioned by it were accounted for. Only five explosions had taken place till then. Four unexploded bombs were soon found and defused.
The mail was tracked to an IP Address registered in the name of Messrs Kamran Power Control Private Limited — 201/202 Eric House, 16th Road, Chembur, Mumbai. There was no response when HT tried to call on the listed number of Kamran Power as the phone was connected to a fax.
Sources said the e-mail ID, “mailto:email@example.com” t “_blank” firstname.lastname@example.org, was created on Saturday itself. And it is possible the text of the mail was sent to the sender of the email the same day. The police suspect a wi-fi network may have been used to send the mail.
According to intelligence sources there was a specific alert on a possible terror attack in Delhi and the national capital region. An Indian Mujahideen mail sent from Mumbai’s Khalsa College a few weeks ago had warned of a “deadly terror attack” saying preparations were on for it.
The Saturday email claimed that it plotted the latest attacks to “salute” the memory of two of its “inspirational martyrs” — Sayyed Ahmed and Shah Ismail, not much is known about them.