Saturday, November 1, 2008

ISF--IM may be behind Assam blast

Message from little known terror group calling itself Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen (ISI-IM) which took responsibility for the Assam serial blasts which took place on October 30.
Initial investigations reveal the SIM card used to send the text message was bought from the Morigaon district of central assam. According to Assam police, a person calling himself Nasir Ahmed had purchased the sim card.
In an SMS message sent to local television channel, the ISF-IM claimed responsibility for yesterday's blasts and threatened to carry out more bomb explosions in several parts of the country.
The message said, "We thank all our holy members and partners" for successfully carrying out the task.
Police officials are investigating the matter. The outfit was formed in 2000 in Lower Assam's Bodo-dominated areas "to counter" the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) and NDFB militants, police sources said.
The full text of the SMS is: "We, ISF-IM, take the responsibility of yesterday blast. We warn all of Assam and India for situation like this in future. We thank all our holy members and partners. AAamin."
First arrest in Assam blast case
Meanwhile, the first arrest in the Assam serial blasts has been made by the police. A man called Zulfikar Ali has been arrested from Nagaon district. Zulifkar Ali's motorcyle was apparently used in the Paan Bazaar blast in Guwahati.
Earlier, highly placed sources have confirmedu us by a report that the deadly terror strike was orchestrated by Bangladesh-based terror outfit HuJI in a joint operation with local and jehadi groups in Assam.
Despite ULFA having denied its role in the blasts Assam police believe that the blasts could have been set off by HuJI with the help of UlFa's 709 Battalion, based in Lower Assam. Sources also told me on behalf of Star News that prior to puja celebrations, 10 cadres belonging to Jamait-E-Islami, Islamic Chatra Shibir and Huji were seen moving from Karimganj to Dibrugarh.
Sources further said that ULFA had provided them with local guides as well as explosives. Initial target was to strike during the pujas but heavy security deployement scuffled the plan. Of the six blasts in Guwahati, RDX was used in two of the explosions.
An Intelligence Bureau source has said that they had information that HuJI-Bangladesh was using northeast underground bases in Bangladesh to trigger blasts, and that in Agartala, they used All Tripura Tiger Force, and that they suspect they used ULFA in Assam.
'No links with HuJI'
Meanwhile, sources in the Bangladesh government have told Star News that no HuJI activity is allowed or acceptable in Bangladesh. In fact, Bangladesh sources said that they had banned HuJI three years ago in October 2005.
Sources also said that the Bangladesh government had already cracked down on HuJI and that anybody with even suspected HuJI links faces an immediate arrest.
RDX-TNT mixture used in Assam blasts
Sources have told us that a mixture of RDX, PETN and TNT have been used to carry out the Assam serial blasts.
PETN, which is commonly known as Pentrite is one of the most powerful explosives known and is usually used in missiles. Sources have also told that the ULFA does not have the capability nor have access to the technology and is too weak to carry out blasts with such devastating impact.
Anger on streets
A day after the blasts even as VIPs poured into Guwahati there was anger in the city. There were sporadic protests, but there were no answers forthcoming except for a political blame game.
The people are angy at being targeted by the terrorists, and the anger has spilt out on the streets.
At the Guwahati Medical Colelge the injured are still attended to. Over 300 people were injured in 9 serial blasts, As politicians made a beeline for the hospital, the criticism of the state and central government was quick.
Even as Assam copes with this latest terror attack, the response from the central government was slow. Home minister Shivraj patil visited the state but said little.
Assam is strategically important for India it being a gateway to the north east.
Even as the centre evaluates the new threat, caught in the political crossfire are the people of Assam.

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