Investigators are increasingly getting convinced that an Indian Mujahideen sleeper cell was behind the twin blasts in Hyderabad.
Pakistan-based terrorist groups activated the cell to avenge the hanging of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru. Intelligence sources say the Jaish-e-Mohammed at a United Jihad Council’s meeting on February 13 had vowed to avenge Guru’s hanging.
Officials conceded that an alert was indeed sent to four cities about possible terror strikes. But it was not specific enough to qualify as actionable intelligence and prevent blasts.
“The modus operandi bears the signature of the IM,” an official said. Indications are they activated IM’s sleeper cell to orchestrate blasts within days of Guru’s hanging thinking it would help them polarise people and effectively increase recruitment. “But this is only a probable speculation as there is no definitive evidence.”
The agencies are closely looking at the role of IM’s operative cells that triggered five blasts in Pune last year. National Investigation Agency (NIA) officers may travel to Bihar’s Darbhanga to get more details. The NIA might take the Delhi police’s help to get more details from suspected IM operative Maqbool, who the Delhi police say visited various places in Hyderabad, including the blasts sites.
Investigating agencies are depending on the CCTVs installed near the blast sites. Investigators are banking on the footage as the terrorists probably used delayed timers to trigger blasts so that they could safely flee.
In Parliament, opposition parties blasted the government for failing to prevent such attacks. Home minister Sushilkumar Shinde told both houses that “strongest possible action” would be taken. Both houses were repeatedly adjourned.