As intelligence agencies focus on Hyderabad-based organisations suspected of providing back-end support to the perpetrators of Saturday’s twin blasts in the Andhra Pradesh capital, the central government on Monday confirmed that the terrorist groups that masterminded the blasts are believed to be operating out of India’s neighbourhood.
Some groups based abroad and known to be involved in such activities in India may have been involved in the Hyderabad blasts, Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta said.
The Union Home Ministry spoke of suspicion of the involvement of groups like the Laskhar-e-Tayyeba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, a statement that does not rule out the possibility of the third possibility, the Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami. The Karachi-based commander of the banned HuJI, Abdul Sahil Mohammed, is the key suspect so far; he is also believed to have meticulously planned the Mecca Masjid blasts in Hyderabad in May.
Gupta said the aim was to identify the persons who planned and executed the blasts and nab them. He added that the government has been taking up the issue of terrorism at bilateral and multi-lateral forum. In the last two months too, a Home Ministry spokesman added, the issue was discussed at bilateral talks. India had bilateral meetings on terrorism with Islamabad and Dhaka in July and August.
Officials also said that though there were similarities between the weekend blasts and the ones in May, the objectives were very different. The Mecca Masjid blasts were calculated to create communal disharmony; Saturday’s blasts were aimed at killing innocent civilians to terrorise people.
Andhra police officials told a visiting central team on Sunday that the focus on Hyderabad may have something to do with the city’s large emigrant population of locals in Arab countries and the terrorists’ desire to make a greater impact. Officials in Delhi, however, said that they would need to analyse the trends in this perspective to arrive at a determination.
What they have analysed in great detail, a home ministry official said, and found a direct correlation is the link between the quality of state intelligence bureaus and success in preventing terrorist attacks. Law enforcement cannot be a success unless the state machinery is in good shape, a senior official said, pointing that this was demonstrated by the success of security agencies in fighting terror in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir. Andhra too has demonstrated this principle in dealing with Naxalites.