Mecca Masjid bomber behind blasts, say cops

The blasts 'seem to be the handiwork of Huji's Bilal and Shaheed', reports Abhishek Sharan. Why Hyderabad?
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Aug 29, 2007 02:21 AM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By Abhishek Sharan, Hyderabad

The twin terror blasts late on Saturday evening which killed 42 people were masterminded by the same group which carried out the Mecca Masjid bombing in May this year, as well as the attack on the headquarters of the Special Task Force in the city in October 2005, investigators said.

The explosives used bear a striking similarity to those employed by Mohammed Bilal of the Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HUJI), who played a key role in the two earlier blasts. “As of now, the blasts seem to be the handiwork of Bilal and Shaheed, both HUJI operatives, who also executed the May 18 blast at Mecca mosque,” said Purna Rao, additional commissioner of police (crime), who is supervising the investigation.

Bilal and Shaheed, earlier in Bangladesh, are said to have recently shifted to Karachi with the active support of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI).

The bombs comprised high grade explosives — ammonium nitrate-based Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) — and were packed with projectiles in wooden crates, police said. Forensic samples collected from the two blast sites — Lumbini Amusement Park near Hussein Sagar lake and Gokul Chat eatery in Kothi — have been sent to Hyderabad’s Forensic Science Laboratory for analysis.

“But the most vital lead till now is a single live bomb that was recovered from near a foot bridge in Dil Sukh Nagar area,” said NV Surendra Babu, additional commissioner of police (co-ordination). “It indicates the type of explosives used and point to the identity of the terror outfit behind the blasts.” This bomb, which fortunately did not explode, was packed in a wooden crate and weighed about four kilos, the police said.

"Preliminary forensic findings have revealed that the bomb was made of ammonium nitrate along with ball bearings and other types of shrapnel to maximize its impact," said Rao.

Sources hinted that an emulsifying agent may have been added to make the impact even more deadly.

Indeed, investigators maintained that the bombs were wilfully planted at such locations as would cause maximum loss of lives. At the Lumbini auditorium, the bomb was placed under plastic chairs. At Gokul Chat it was under an ice cream stall table. "The bombs were planted at such places which would inflict the most damage," noted a senior police officer.

This indicates a distinct shift in the intentions of the terrorists. "At the Mecca mosque blast the bomb that exploded had been kept under a marble slab that was six inches wide and luckily absorbed 90 per cent of its impact. An un-exploded bomb that was recovered from the same mosque-compound was kept on walls near the wajukhana, away from the main gathering of faithful offering prayers," noted an investigator. The intention was to avoid killing too many people.

Close Story
Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, October 25, 2021