Pakistan-based Indian Mujahideen behind Varanasi attack: India

Last Updated: Thu, Dec 09, 2010 17:30 hrs

Brussels, Dec 9 (IANS) Indian investigators have established initial 'leads' tracing Tuesday's Varanasi blast to the Indian Mujahideen terror outfit based in Pakistan, an official source said here Thursday.

However, the investigators were facing problems in identifying the explosives or chemicals used in the blast at the Dasaswamedh ghat in the Uttar Pradesh temple town, said the source, who is closely monitoring the investigations.

'We have no reason to disbelieve that they (the Indian Mujahideen) did it. Because all leads we have, whatever indications we have, suggest that 'yes' there is an Indian Mujahideen element (behind the blast),' the source told IANS in the Belgian capital.

The terror strike Tuesday during the 'maha aarti' ritual on the banks of the Ganga river killed a minor girl and injured over 30, including foreigners.

An e-mail was immediately sent to media houses in which the Indian Mujahideen, having links to the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terror organisation, claimed responsibility for the blast.

The source said the 'modus operandi' of owning responsibility for the blast 'is the same at it was the last time'.

'They used somebody else's unsecured wireless network to send the message from an IP address of somebody who didn't have a password in his wireless network,' he said.

'The problem the investigators are facing is of course that the forensics are complicated. You know, basically there was a stampede at the scene immediately after the blast. So what we have to work with is limited. We think we know where the leads go, and we have got some people for questioning. We will see,' the source said.

He said the Intelligence Bureau (IB) had inputs that the ghat where the blast occurred was on the Indian Mujahideen's radar for long.

'If you look at it over time, in fact the ghat had been mentioned in February itself in some of the IB warnings to the state government. It was repeated later in September-October when we heard that they were trying something,' the source said.

He said though the Indian Mujahideen's 'capacity seems to be less than what it was before, but there is clearly their ranks that are still working'.

'The Indian Mujahideen, as you know, started an an LeT creation because they wanted to be able to say this is a domestic Indian group, but their links are in Pakistan, whatever we know, all those links still exist,' the source said.

He said the Pakistan element in the Varanasi blast was not certain and the investigators 'in this particular case have not finished connecting all the dots'.

'We have not connected all the dots. There might be bits and pieces which suggest something (links to Pakistan) but till we can actually trace it all the way through, I will be very careful about making accusations,' the source said.

(Sarwar Kashani can be contacted at s.kashani@ians.in)



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