The conspiracy behind the July 26 serial bombings in Ahmedabad has been "nearly cracked" and its mastermind has been arrested, the Gujarat police said on Saturday, hoping that their probe into the network of the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) would also help crack several recent terror attacks across the country.
Gujarat Director General Police PC Pandey told media persons that the Ahmedabad crime branch and the state Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), along with local intelligence units, had "nearly solved" the serial bombings in Ahmedabad as well as about 11-12 others including those in Jaipur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra.
"With a sense of pride I can say that, our efforts in the past 20 days have paid off, and we have almost completely solved the blasts case," he said.
Pandey said the Gujarat police along with the Uttar Pradesh police had nabbed a SIMI activist, Mufti Abu Bashir in Lucknow on Saturday morning after interrogation of nine people who had been arrested.
"Bashir is the brains behind the blasts. He is being brought to Gujarat soon," Pandey added.
The 21 bomb blasts in Ahmedabad July 26 had killed 55 people and injured at least 150.
Pandey said those arrested were being interrogated and investigations were on.
Asked about 'Indian Mujaheedin', a group that had claimed the responsibility for the July 26 blasts, Pandey said it was just another form of SIMI and its abbreviation - IM - was part of 'SIMI'.
'Indian Mujeheedin' had sent an email to media organisations minutes before the terror attack - among the worst serial bombings in India - challenging security agencies to stop them.
Pandey said intelligence units in several Gujarat towns had uncovered the network of "SIMI sleeper cells". "We have uncovered this network and it will help in solving the cases of other offensives across the country," he said.