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Counter-terror agencies have zeroed in on banned terror outfit Students Islamic Movement of India’s (SIMI) Ranchi module for the twin blasts on the Guwahati-bound train at Chennai railway station last Thursday, and believe the attack was possibly to avenge violence against Muslims by Bodos in Assam in 2012.
Senior home ministry officials confirmed to HT that the two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used in the blast were replicas of bombs used by SIMI to target BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s rally in Patna on October 27, 2013 and may have come from the same stock.
“The preliminary forensic analysis has confirmed that the two bombs were made of L-shaped iron pipes, a mixture of ammonium nitrate and potassium chlorate as charge, an electrical detonator using 9 volt Chinese made GP super battery and an analogue clock timer using 1.5 volt Nippo cell just as in the Patna blasts. The IEDs were hidden in a backpack and placed in two adjacent compartments. There is a strong possibility that the bombs were intended to go off on a running train,” a counter terror official said.
While the security agencies are also investigating the hand of Tamil Nadu-based Al Ummah terror group, the bomb design indicates that Haider Ali — the leader of the module — could be involved in the attack.
Haider is known to be the bomb maker of the group and is on the run with the other three members — Noman, Toufiq and Mujibullah — of the module.
“It is still not clear as to how many bombers were there, but the bombs are from the same Patna stock. They were not meant for large-scale destruction but were intended to send out a message to the northeast community that ill-treatment of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Bodo attacks on Muslims in Assam are priority issues for SIMI,” an MHA official said.
SIMI has kept a distance from IM terrorists but their focus, apart from the two concerns listed above, is the rise of Modi.