October 31, 2005

New Delhi Bombings - Update

(New Delhi) The number of dead from yesterday's three near-simultaneous bombings at locations (map) in New Delhi has grown to over 60 with around 200 injured, some seriously. Investigators have detained over 20 suspects in raids of small hotels around New Delhi. It is now known that two of the bombs exploded amid large shopping crowds at Paharganj and Sarojini Nagar. The third bomb, however, was on a bus at the market of Govindpuri.

Police said they were looking for a man in his 20s who refused to buy a ticket on a bus and got off in the Govindpuri neighbourhood, leaving behind a large black bag. When some of the 40 passengers raised an alarm, the driver and bus conductor examined it and threw it out just as the blast occurred, injuring them both.
The media are in almost universal agreement that those responsible belong to a little-known small terrorist group.
A man saying he represented the terrorist group "Islamic Inquilab Mahaz," or "Front for Islamic Uprising," took responsibility for the bombings in a call to the Kashmir News Service in Jammu and Kashmir. The little-known group is tied to the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, the most feared terrorist group in Kashmir, police said.

The caller, who identified himself as Ahmed Yaar Ghaznavi, said the attack "was meant as a rebuff to the claims of Indian security groups" that terrorist fighters had been wiped out by military crackdowns and the October 8 South Asian earthquake.

Not everyone, though, agrees that Islamic Inquilab Mahaz (IIM) is a little known group as indicated by this report from The Times of India.
The group that has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s serial blasts in Delhi -- Islami Inqilabi Mahaz -- is neither unknown nor unfamiliar in India. According to terrorism analyst Ajai Sahni, it is just another name for Lashkar-e-Taiba, which is based in Pakistan under the influence of ISI and is the best known successor organisation of Al-Qaida.
The ISI is Pakistan's Inter-Service Intelligence agency. A rogue element in the Pakistani government, ISI has strong links to Wahabism and radical Islamic political and military groups. Even so, a Pakistani Foreign Office spokesman stated that "the attack in a crowded market place is a criminal act of terrorism."

From the Mumbai Mirror:

A day after the deadly blasts shook the Capital, the security brass indicated it had reasons to believe it was the handiwork of familiar jehadi module -- Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence operatives.

[ ... ]

Notwithstanding Islamabad's prompt denouncement of Delhi's serial blast, the government agencies said they have compelling evidence to prove that ISI modules are working with official Pak patronage. "We had the information that three or four modules -- each module consisting of a group three or four men -- had entered the country some time ago."

A massive search and destroy effort was undertaken to stop the ISI modules. Unfortunately, the effort hasn't been entirely successful.

Although the investigations of the bombings in New Delhi are ongoing, I believe some certainties have surfaced:

- The bombings were terrorist acts by a radical Islamic group,
- The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency is linked to the bombings,
- The ISI wields power largely independent of President Musharraf,
- The Indians are restless and expect a forceful government response, and
- By calling the group responsible for the bombings as 'little-known' or 'unknown,' the media demonstrate that they didn't do their homework.
In a directly-related development, the trial of Lashkar-e-Taiba militant Mohammad Arif alias Ashfaq, believed to be a triggering circumstance for the New Delhi bombings, has concluded. Ashfaq was sentenced to death by a Delhi court.

Companion at Interested-Participant.

By at 04:54 AM | Comments |