The terror group Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was planning to make rocket launchers with lathe machines, using designs downloaded from the internet on mobile phones, counter-terror agencies investigating the October 2 blast at Burdwan in West Bengal have uncovered.
Two alleged Bangladeshi bomb makers — Shamim Shakil Ahmed and Svopan Mondal — died in the explosion.
Abdul Hakim — also injured in the blast — confirmed that the entire group, including the two dead, belonged to the JMB, a terror outfit linked to the banned Jamaat-e-Islami that is bitterly opposed to Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
Hakim, however, refused to give out further details, saying he didn’t trust the Indian police.
Ahmed’s wife Rumi Bibi stated that the group was trying to reproduce the weapons using a lathe machine, investigators said.
Photos of rocket launcher designs and projectiles were found in the records of mobile phones destroyed in the blast, sources added.
Investigators have also pieced together evidence using IMEI numbers of the mobile phones to trace JMB operatives.
Meanwhile, the CID on Monday intensified its search of a Bangladeshi national and JMB operative named Kausar who took delivery of a consignment of IEDs.
Rumi Bibi had told security agencies that they sent four consignments of bombs in the last three months through Kausar and another man called Rasiq.
Investigations showed Kausar was the main motivator and carried bombs in a black rucksack along with Rasiq. Despite having their phone records, Indian and Bangladeshi agencies haven’t been able to trace the duo.
As reported by HT, 25 hand grenades, some 10 ready-for-use IEDs and large quantities of ammonium nitrate, iron oxide, hydrogen peroxide and other chemicals used in making bombs were recovered from the spot after the October 2 blast, sources said.
With the NIA and Intelligence Bureau teams helping the state police investigations, security teams are using call data records of the deceased and the injured to track their accomplices in India and pass the numbers on to Bangladesh intelligence agencies.
Investigators are trying to find out if the JMB module had links with three terrorists whose details Dhaka had forwarded to New Delhi. As the JMB group had a Kashmiri chapter in the 1990s, agencies are also focusing on any links with terror groups in the Valley.
Due to the international ramifications of the case, however, the home ministry is still awaiting consent from the Mamata Banerjee government to hand over the probe to the National Investigation Agency.
The West Bengal government on its part is trying to downplay the Bangladesh angle lest it be accused of harbouring terrorists opposed to the Hasina regime on Indian soil, sources said.
Read: Arrested woman spills the beans on Bangladesh connection