Bengaluru blast suspects not first timers: NIA

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jan 15, 2015 00:45 IST

A group of SIMI terror suspects who have been dodging intelligence agencies since their escape from Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh in October 2013 are believed to be involved in the Bengaluru Church Street bombing on December 28, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has told the home ministry.

However, weeks before they struck at Bengaluru, the NIA said the suspects had also planted an explosive in Roorkee on December 6 to target BJP MLA Sangeet Som to allegedly take revenge for the Muzaffarnagar riots.

Som, who was slated to address a gathering of VHP and Bajrang Dal activists, was expected to use the approach road where the bomb was planted.

In its report, the National Investigation Agency has pointed out that Shaikh Mehboob (25), Amjad (25), Mohammed Aslam (26), Mohammed Aijajuddin (30) and Zakir Hussain (32) were members of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and believed to be involved in the Pune Ganesh temple blast in July 2014 and the Guwahati-Bengaluru express blast at Chennai in May 2014.

They had also attempt to create an explosive in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnore in September 2014.

An accidental explosion injured one member of the group but they still managed to escape.

The NIA has based its assessment on the similarity in the explosives and detonators analysed in context of intelligence inputs.

The initial probe of the NIA has found that the explosives in the Church Street blast that killed a woman and injured four others had several iron nails and pieces of GI pipe to maximise casualties. Some of the iron nails had been found by bomb experts up to a distance of 300 feet away.

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