The modus operandi, in which bike-borne assailants approach a target with the pillion rider firing, used by the two suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) gunmen on Sunday near Jama Masjid has been a usual tactic used by terror operatives linked to the Lashkar-e- Tayyeba (LeT) and the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in India and abroad.
An alleged SIMI member Vicar Ahmed alias Vicaruddin (40), who had received his terror training from the LeT in Pakistan and was arrested in July this year by the Hyderabad police, had between December 2008 to May this year used the same modus operandi "thrice in Hyderabad to target policemen," according to a senior intelligence officer.
"His latest attack was on May 14 when he had fired at and killed police constable Ramesh near Volga restaurant in the old city of Hyderabad," he said.
Ahmed, as the pillion-riding shooter, had earlier shot at a policeman belonging to the Counter Intelligence Cell who had gone to nab him on December 3, 2008, then killed another police constable, Bala Raju, on May 18 last year.
Another resemblance, in the modus operandi of the Sunday's attack and of Ahmed's attacks, was that incidents were sought to be portrayed as an act of 'retribution' against alleged police atrocities or killings.
While the IM sought to dedicate its attack as retribution against the Batla House encounter on September 19, 2008, Ahmed had claimed —through leaflets left at the target site — his attacks sought to avenge the death of nine civilians in police firing after the May 18, 2007 blast at Mecca mosque in Hyderabad.
In the Batla House encounter, Delhi Police's Special Cell killed two IM operatives, Atif Amin and Mohammed Sajid.
The IM's attack was 'dedicated' to Amin and Sajid, according to its e-mail sent to BBC Hindi on Sunday.