‘Bangladeshi terror group, ISI behind Hyderabad blasts’


Hyderabad : Bangladesh-based terror group Harkat-ul Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI) under the directions of Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) carried out three bomb blasts in Hyderabad since May, the police have claimed on the basis of the confession of a suspect.

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Claiming to have unravelled the entire terror plot, the police said Shahid, a native of this city who is now believed to be in Bangladesh, plotted the May 18 blast at the Mecca Masjid here and twin blasts at two public places on Aug 25.

While the blast during Friday prayers at the 17th century mosque claimed nine lives, the near-simultaneous blasts at a park and a famous eatery killed 44 people.

Abdul Shahid alias Bilal, an operative of HUJI, hatched the plot with the help of his two brothers and associates from Bangladesh under the directions of Pakistan’s ISI, according to the police.

While this is not the first time that the police have made this claim, now they have based it on a statement by Shahid’s brother Abdul Majeed during interrogation.

A CD recording of the statement made before the police was made available to a couple of television channels Saturday.

Majeed had allegedly been picked up after the twin blasts but the police admitted only last week that they had arrested him.

According to the recorded statement, Majeed told the police the blasts were carried out on Shahid’s orders and another of their brothers — based in Saudi Arabia — provided money.

“Shahid had plotted to kill BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) leader Indrasena Reddy. The recent blasts were also carried out at his behest,” Majeed reportedly said.

The conspiracy was hatched by Shahid and his friend Khaja, both residents of Moosarambagh neighbourhood here, according to the police.

Police suspect that the entire operation was financed through hawala or informal money transfer channels by Saudi Arabia-based Abdul Samad, the elder brother Shahid and Majeed.

Piecing together the plot from Majeed’s statement and other evidence, the police claim that Abu Hamza, also a HUJI operative, came to Hyderabad from Bangladesh in the first week of May and manufactured bombs at the house of a man called Imran Khan, who is now in police custody.

The bombs were handed over to Majeed and Khaja’s brother Kaleem, who is also in jail, the police claimed.

Acording to the police, Imran and Kaleem had made these revelations when they were subjected to narco-analysis tests in Bangalore last month. Similar tests were conducted on Nayeem alias Sameer, a resident of Aurangabad in Maharashtra, who allegedly brought eight to 10 kg of the explosive RDX to Hyderabad from Kolkata this February.

Believed to be an operative of Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba, Sameer was caught along with three terror suspects in West Bengal in March this year while illegally crossing over from Bangladesh.

He was shifted to Mumbai and questioned in connection with the serial train bombings there last year. After the Mecca Masjid blast, he was brought to Hyderabad along with his friend Shoaib Jagirdar, also a native of Maharashtra.

Imran, a bank executive and relative of Jagirdar, had given shelter to Sameer at his house in Bowenpalli in Secunderabad, the police alleged, adding that it was during the stay at this house that Sameer distributed RDX. He also brought a video camera and took photographs of prominent places, according to the police.

After the Aug 25 blasts, the police arrested 25 suspects but failed to trace the missing RDX. The city remained on high alert since the revelations by suspects during narco-analysis tests.

The CD leak from police coincided with a terror alert in the city on Friday. All police stations were alerted following intelligence reports that four suicide bombers were lurking in the city and its outskirts.

The alert followed a reported statement by Majeed that his brother indoctrinated and trained several youths from the city. Six Bangladeshi nationals and four people from Gujarat were also picked up by police late Friday for questioning.

Police also believe that Shahid was the mastermind behind the suspected suicide attack on the police commissioner’s task force office here in October 2005. One policeman was killed in the attack carried out by a Bangladeshi suicide bomber, suspected to be a member of HUJI.