Saturday, December 31, 2005

One held for Bangalore IISc attack

One held for Bangalore IISc attack
Deccan Herald

Central security and intelligence agencies on Friday hoped to make an early breakthrough in their investigation into Wednesday’s terrorist attack on the IISc campus in Bangalore as they took into custody one person in the City on suspicion of his involvement in it.

Top sources in the Union Home Ministry refused to divulge the identity of the person who was arrested in Bangalore during the day in cooperation with the Karnataka police. Revealing his identity at this stage might not help, the sources said, adding he would be subjected to a thorough interrogation over the next couple of days. However, Bangalore Police Commissioner Ajai Kumar Singh has said that there “are no specific clues” about the suspect.

It is suspected that at least three terrorists would have been directly involved in the attack. One of them had indiscriminately fired at the delegates while they were coming out of the Tata Auditorium and about his physical appearance some of the injured have a fairly good idea. It is suspected that another terrorist would have been present on the spot providing cover to the assailant and a third one outside the spot providing back-up logistics for safe escape from the scene.

The sources do not completely rule out the involvement of Lashkar-e-Toiba. But they believe that the attack might also have been carried out by Jaish-e-Mohammad, the outfit launched in Pakistan by Maulana Masood Azhar five years’ ago. The Maulana and two other terrorists were released by the Indian government from Jammu prison in exchange for freeing the hijacked IC-814 Indian Airlines flight at Kandahar around this time of December in 1999.

JeM hand seen

Suspicions about the possible involvement of the JeM is in view of intelligence assessment that the terrorists involved in the IISc attack were probably not “very well trained”. Most of the JeM terrorists caught elsewhere in the country so far were not very well trained whereas the training and motivation levels of LeT are of a much higher level, the sources said. If the terrorists were well trained they could have used the weapons at their disposal to deadly effect and, therefore, the casualty could have been higher. The terrorists had with them close to 300 bullets. A pistol was recovered from the scene of attack and as many as five magazines were found to be partially used by the attackers.

As they examined the markings on the bullets and grenades recovered from the spot, intelligence officials have also found that the markings were “tampered with”. Preliminary assessment is that the grenades could be of Pakistan origin, the sources said. Also recovered from the spot was dry date fruits.

Meanwhile, hours after the Bangalore police released the sketch of the suspects four alleged Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) activists were arrested in Hyderabad on Friday for their suspected involvement in the shoot-out, UNI adds from Hyderabad. Police, on an intensified security check, intercepted four youth suspected to be LeT and Kashmiri Jihad Group activists. The Bangalore police had tipped off the city police and coordinated the arrests of four activists. While senior police officials would not comment, police sources said that the four LeT suspects were being interrogated jointly by the Special Bureau Intelligence group of the AP police and their counterparts from Karnataka along with IB officials.


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