After reading a manual on al Qaeda’s online magazine Inspire, alleged Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives fabricated an explosive-laden jacket for a fidayeen attack on Narendra Modi who was then touring the country as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, counter terror sources told HT.
Alleged SIMI operative Haidar Ali told counter terror officials that after reading about suicide jackets in Inspire, he purchased one and filled it with locally procured explosives and other items.
He then tried testing the jacket by fastening it on a tree alongside a railway line in Sithio village near Ranchi and used a remote control to explode it.
The jacket apparently worked but the blast was of low intensity, just enough to burn or damage the outer skin.
“Though Haidar had an associate in mind for wearing the jacket for a suicide mission, he decided to leave the plan and went ahead with attacking Modi’s Patna rally in October last year,” said a counter terror official requesting anonymity.
Haidar, 25, was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on May 20 along with three other associates in Jharkhand.
The NIA officials claim that Haidar was also behind the July 7, 2013 serial blasts in the Buddhist shrine at Bodh Gaya as well.
Counter terror officials claim that Haidar also learnt fabrication of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by reading material available on Inspire.
These IEDs were later used for the Bodh Gaya blasts and attacking the Modi rally.
The attacks in the rally forced the UPA-led government to increase Modi’s security, and bring it almost on par with that of the then Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh.