The bomb blasts in Jaipur are likely to have been plotted and executed by the same module of the Harkat-ul-Jehad-al-Islami (HuJI) that carried out the serial blasts in Uttar Pradesh court complexes on November 23 last year, investigators said on Thursday.
Tuesday’s blasts in Jaipur killed 63 people and injured more than 150.
A man from Uttar Pradesh, Mohammed Shamim who, the state’s Special Task Force (STF) said, is wanted for his role in the Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad blasts, leads the module. Four of his associates are in STF custody for their role in the UP blasts that killed 13 people. “It is now almost certain that the Jaipur blasts were caused by the HuJI module responsible for the serial blasts in UP last year,” said an officer of the Intelligence Bureau, refusing to be named.
“Apart from the fact that the same type of explosives were used in both sets of blasts, we have now reasons to believe that the email sent to a few news channels on Wednesday night had been sent by this Shameem-led HuJI module,” he said. “Barring a few minor differences, this email was identical to the email sent to news channels just five minutes before the UP blasts.”
Jaipur IGP Pankaj Kumar Singh agreed: “The email sent to electronic media on Wednesday bore stark similarities with the one sent just before the UP blasts.”
Singh added that the frame-number (129489) of the bicycle that carried the bomb that that exploded at Choti Chaupar was indeed as mentioned in Wednesday’s email.
An outfit calling itself Indian Mujahideen sent the email claiming responsibility for the Jaipur explosions and warned of more blasts if India continued to support the US.
The mail also said that Jaipur was targeted as the intention was to destroy its tourism industry. “Jaipur has been chosen to blow up your tourism structure... this is a clear warning to you (the US and the UK)... Don’t send your people to India and if you do so then you people will be welcomed by our suicide attackers.”
Three video clips came as attachments — one showed a cycle carrying the bomb before the explosions and the other two videos showed another cycle carrying a bag containing the explosives.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje said this was an attempt to mislead the investigators. But the mail was being taken seriously by security and intelligence agencies. It was sent from a yahoo account: email@example.com, which was created the same day. Investigators said the mail sent before the UP blasts came from a similar Yahoo account: firstname.lastname@example.org.
B. Raman, formerly of the Research and Analysis Wing and a terrorism expert, believes “guru” in the mail could stand for Afzal Guru, the man on death row for the December, 2001 terror attack on Parliament.
As for the outfit behind the email — Indian Mujahideen — experts said it was most likely a HuJI front. “It was a group calling itself the Indian Mujahideen that had also sent an email identical in content before the blasts in UP last year,” said a senior officer of the UP STF. Investigators said both the mails were sent by accounts with the same identity guru_alhindi, and in both cases the accounts were created the same day and cyber cafes around Ghaziabad were used.
The difference, a minor detail, was that the mail that was sent five minutes before the multiple blasts in UP had used the French domain of the Yahoo, while the mail sent nearly after the Jaipur blasts used the UK domain of the Yahoo.
The Jaipur blasts mail was sent from a cyber café in Sahibabad, Ghaziabad — Naveen Computer Job Work and Photostat. It was raided late on Wednesday and its owner Siyaram Mishra and his elder son Madhukar Mishra were taken away for questioning. The police team also took away three central processing units (CPU) and a couple of hard disks for examination.
The cyber café was being run from a shop at A-37, Shyam Park Extension, which is also where the Mishras live. According to Diwakar Mishra, younger son of the café owner, three young men came around 8.30 pm on Wednesday night. “They completed their work and left within 15-20 minutes,” he said. Later in the night the police came. “They said they were investigating a case of cyber crime. They asked us to open the café and also asked us to turn on the generator since there was no electricity supply at the time.”
Mishra said, “They switched on three computers but did not find anything. Then they asked my father and elder brother to accompany them for questioning and also took away three CPUs.”
STF sources said the e-mail’s content was downloaded, and not composed, on the computer terminal at the cyber cafe. This method was used to send the mail before the UP blasts as well, said sources.
They left as soon as they were done. Mishra said, “No, we did not get them enter the log book kept for cyber café users.”