Intelligence intercepts in February had warned of a possible terror strike by the Indian Mujahideen (IM) this July, according to sources in the Indian security establishment.
However, the intercept of conversation between an IM operative and his handler shed no light on the exact date, time and place of the strike, said the sources, who requested anonymity saying they did not have clearance to speak to the media.
This threat perception had been communicated to the states. The intercept had also revealed that the IM had put together two new batches of trained operatives who had no recorded links to earlier modules. In fact, the handler had warned the IM operative against using anyone known to have been associated with the terrorist group.
The three explosions in the bustling market areas of Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House in South Mumbai, and at Kabutharkhana in Dadar on Wednesday came a day after the Maharashtra Police’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested two IM operatives.
ATS officials are currently quizzing the two, who had stolen the cars used in the Ahmedabad blasts of 2008, if they knew of any newly-inducted operatives.
Security experts say Wednesday’s blasts bore the distinct signature of the IM and the Lashkar-e-Taiba as samples from the blast site at Zaveri Bazaar indicate the use of ammonium nitrate with fuel oil. And RDX could have been used as the booster. This deadly mix was used in most strikes the IM has engineered since 2005 – the Mumbai train blasts, and the Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi 2008 blasts. “The choice of locations also bears an IM signature.