Indian Mujahideen (IM) founder-member Riyaz Bhatkal, who escaped abroad, is back in the country and has emerged as the main suspect in the blasts that took place before an IPL cricket match in Bangalore.
Bhatkal is suspected of carrying out a number of serial blasts in the country between 2005 and 2009. Sources said the mastermind of the IM, amalgam of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashker-e-Taiba and banned SIMI, is back in the country.
Incidentally, the picture which the security agencies had believed to be of Bhatkal has turned out to be wrong, the sources said.
The Union Home Ministry had earlier said the kind of material used and the modus operandi pointed to involvement of IM in the twin explosions near the packed Chinnaswamy cricket stadium on Saturday. Fifteen people were injured in the blasts that occurred barely an hour before an IPL match.
The sources said the mechanism of using loosely-packed ammonium nitrate with engine oil and ball bearings had been adopted by the IM in earlier blasts that shook the country between 2005 and 2009.
The aim of perpetrators was to create a panic situation by blowing off the generator station and bringing the cricket stadium into darkness to create panic which could have lead to stampede, the sources said.
Bangalore has been on the target of IM for long and a series of bomb blasts had taken place in September last year.