Are the perpetrators of the terror attack at Delhi High Court deliberately taking the National Intelligence Agency for a spin through emails or are these emails – one which went to two media houses and the other the Union Home Ministry claiming responsibility for the bomb blast first HuJI and now IM acts of mischief makers; or even worse is this a new terror cell formed by the LeT. Over twenty fours have passed yet India has no answers. GoaChronicle.com reports…
Almost two hours after the attack outside the Gate No 5 of the Delhi High Court in which a bomb blast claimed the lives of twelve civilians and severely injured over seventy, two media houses – Aaj Tak and NDTV received emails from persons claiming to representatives of the Harakatul-E-Jihadi-Al-Islami (HuJI). The email claimed responsibility for the blasts and demanded that the Indian government repeal the death sentence against Afzal Guru – main accused in the 2001 attack on the Parliament. It also warned of more attacks at High Courts across the country and even the Supreme Court.
The origin of the email and email account was traced to Kishtwar in Jammu & Kashmir; this morning the NIA team arrested the owner of the Global Internet Café at Malik Market and two other suspects. The email account was email@example.com.
The interrogation of the cyber café owner and three others have revealed that a youngster could have sent the mail as Afzal Guru’s case is an emotive issue in the region. Police are now looking for this youngster.
Fourty hours later the Union Home Ministry stated that media houses have now received an email from person claiming to be representatives of the Indian Mujahidin (IM). The sender identifies himself as Chotoo, refutes contents of the other email, sent to media houses s after the blast, allegedly by Harkatul-E-Jihadi al-Islami (HuJI) claiming responsibility for the blast. It claims that HuJI cannot have executed the blast because the IM had long planned to carry out a bomb blast at the Delhi high court. The email also claims that the IM had planned the bomb blast for a Wednesday and that “HuJI is remotely not involved”.
The mail, sent from the email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, threatens more blasts and claims that the next bomb blast will be carried out outside a shopping mall on Tuesday next week. The email also dares the security agencies to stop the IM members from carrying out their next attack.
Leads of the alleged getaway Santro stolen car has not resulted in any breakthroughs according to source in Intelligence; the issue turned out to be not related to the terror attack.
NIA team has detained a man in Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh, he has been identified as Shahzad and police officials say he resembles one of the sketches released by Delhi Police on Wednesday. Police are verifying his identity through his relatives and village Sarpanch. Shahzad reportedly works in a factory in Pune.
The forensic teams on the site are off the opinion that the explosive contained PETN or Ammonium Nitrate; the bomb was not set on a timer but instead would have been either trigged by a mobile phone call or a remote detonator.
NIA has always issued a 5 lakh reward to any person who could offer crucial information of the suspects or the hide-outs of the terrorists, in an attempt to gather information.
HuJI Modus Operandi
GoaChronicle.com spoke to its sources in the Indian intelligence and various analysts of Terrorism in South Asia and it is interesting to note that certain crucial analysis;
Firstly, HuJI or also known as the Islamic Struggle Movement have been responsible for several attacks on Indian soil, some coming from its Pakistan arm and some in recent times coming from its base in Bangladesh.
- In 2003 Role in Assassination of the former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya.
- In 2002, January – Terror attack near the American Centre in Kolkata, executed in collaboration with the Dawood-linked Mafioso Aftab Ansari
- In 2005, June- India Bombing of the Delhi-Patna Shramjeevi Express at Jaunpur
- In 2005, Suicide bombing of the headquarters of the Andhra Pradesh Police’s counter-terrorism Special Task Force. A Bangladeshi national, Mohatasin Bilal, had carried out the bombing.
- In March 2006 Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh – Bombing of the Sankat Mochan temple, which was traced to HuJI’s Bangladesh-based cells
- In August 2007 Hyderabad – bombings (suspected, but no evidence revealed as of early September)
- In May 2008 Jaipur – Bombings suspected and evidence is still pending.
- In July 2008 Bangalore – Serial blasts suspected and evidence pending
- In July 2008 Ahmadabad -Serial blasts suspected and evidence pending
- In September 2008 Delhi – Serial blasts suspected and evidence pending
- In October 2008 Agartala – Bombings suspected and evidence pending
- In October 2008 Guwahati – Bombings suspected and evidence pending
In April 2006, the state police Special Task Force in India uncovered a plot hatched by six HuJI terrorists, including the mastermind behind the 2006 Varanasi bombings, involving the destruction of two Hindu temples in the Indian city of Varanasi. Maps of their plans were recovered during their arrest. Pakistani passports had been in the possession of the arrested. Apparently HuJI has claimed the responsibility for the blasts in New Delhi high court which has claimed lives of 10 and has injured around 60.
Analysts and intelligence agencies say the HuJI Pakistan and HuJI-B (referring to Bangladesh) are very active in India. However, sending an email to claim responsibility for their action is not one of modes of functioning. Analysis of the past attacks will indicate that HuJI members would quick, decisive and not vocal of their attacks before or after the attacks. Not a single email has ever been sent by HuJI operative after an attack.
On August 6, 2010 the United States and the United Nations designated Harakatul-E-JihadI al-Islami as a foreign terror group.
IM Modus Operandi
The Indian Mujahidin have been declared a terrorist organization. However, no decision had been made to ban the organization as of 28 September 2008 by the Indian government.
Investigators believe that Indian Mujahidin is one of many groups composed of lower-tier SIMI members. According to the Indian Intelligence Bureau, SIMI took new titles because the top leadership of SIMI have been detained and would be available for interrogation. The change in names is also believed to signal a change in tactics as SIMI-affiliated militants attempt to garner more support from India’s Muslim community rather than be seen as a group consisting of foreigners.
IM unlike the HuJI likes to make known its achievements to the public glare and have a history are sending mails to the media after their attacks.
- Serial blasts in three towns of Uttar Pradesh in November 2007
- 13 May 2008, after the Jaipur blasts email was traced to a Ghaziabad cyber cafe.
- 26 July 2008, four minutes before Ahmedabad blasts, email traced Kenneth Haywood’s WiFi IP address in Sanpada, Navi Mumbai.
- August 2008, after the press conference held by the Gujarat Police, IP address traced to WiFi network of Khalsa College in Matunga, Central Mumbai.
- 13 September 2008, during the Delhi serial blast, IP address traced to WiFi network of Kamran Power Control Pvt Ltd, at 201-202 Eric House, 16th Road, Chembur.
- Even in the December 7, 2010 Varanasi Bombing there was email that was sent to the media houses.
They did not send any e-mail messages claiming responsibility for the serial blasts in Bangalore on 25 July 2008, even though Intelligence agency consider them to be prime suspects. There were speculations in the Intelligence network that there could be a new unit similar to the functioning of the IM also in play in India – another LeT outfit.
Are the explosives the link?
It is interesting to note that the kind of elements used in the explosives used in Bangalore, Varanasi and now Delhi High Court seem identical, could there be a link to these terror groups that have conducted these terror raids. While the fingers point at IM from the emails sent post the attack and the similar explosive used, HuJI too in the Lumbini Park, Hyderabad bomb attack also used a base of ammonium nitrate.
Here is what the Forensic Report said at the Varanasi (December 7, 2010) blast site, “improvised explosive device (IED) was recovered from a metal dustbin, though no residue of the explosives, remains of any circuit or detonator were found, the device did not have shrapnel in it, thus there were no burn or shrapnel injuries, and all the injured were hit by pieces of wall that broke following the explosion, all suggesting the use of plastic bomb or pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN)
In the Bangalore August 25, 2008 blast Forensic Reports indicated the use of an explosive with an ammonium nitrate base.
In the Delhi High Court attack the Forensic Reports are indicating the use of PETN and ammonium nitrate as base for the device.
Another important point to note is that most of these bombs were never put on a timer, but were remotely triggered.
Will NIA crack the case?
NIA so far has shown no success rate since its inception in 2009. However, many feel that nothing will come out of these investigations. The rush to J&K after the HuJI and following up of the Santro Car, an analyst’s state that it seems that NIA in the urgency and pressure to prove a point will miss out on some vital clues. But with India not looking for any excuses this time, the government and the Intelligence agencies will have to show some concrete results to repose the faith of the people in the government machinery.