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‘Indian Mujahideen’ claims responsibility

Praveen Swami

Reprisal for 2002 riots, say suspected SIMI-Lashkar front organisations

NEW DELHI: In a 14-page manifesto e-mailed to the media minutes before Saturday’s serial bombings, an organisation calling itself the “Indian Mujahideen” has claimed responsibility for the Ahmedabad attacks.

Titled “The Rise of Jihad”, the manifesto says the bombings were carried out to avenge the 2002 anti-Muslim violence in Gujarat. “In the light of the injustice and wrongs on the Muslims of Gujarat,” it says, “we advance our jihad and call all our brethren under it to unite and answer these irresolute kafireen [infidels] of India.”

It warns of future attacks, complaining that the police “disturbed us by arresting, imprisoning, and torturing our brothers in the name of SIMI [Students Islamic Movement of India].”

In a similar document sent minutes before May’s serial bomb strikes in Jaipur, the IM had said such bombings were intended “to clearly give our message to Kuffar-e-Hind [the infidels of India] that if Islam and Muslims in this country are not safe then the light of your safety will also go off very soon.”

Near-identical language had been earlier used by the IM in a document e-mailed to television stations minutes before the bombing of three trial-court buildings in Uttar Pradesh last year. In its e-mail, the IM said it was retaliating against “wounds given by the idol worshipers of India.”

Investigators belive the IM is a loose coalition of elements from the Students Islamic Movement of India, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami.

Police were able to determine that the explosive used in the Uttar Pradesh bombings was supplied by a Jammu and Kashmir-based Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami unit. Jaunpur-based SIMI activist Mohammad Khalid Mujahid and Azamgarh Unani doctor Mohammad Tariq were held for their alleged role in planning two of the three court bombings, However, the members of the third cell, who are also thought to have sent out the e-mail, remain untraced.

While military-grade plastic explosive was used in Jaipur and Uttar Pradesh, the bombs used in Ahmedabad appear to have been constructed with ammonium nitrate, a widely-available chemical with a range of industrial applications. Police sources said the bombs resembled the devices used in Bangalore on Friday.

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