‘Terrorists behind bombings may not have been locals’


Mumbai/New Delhi : The terrorists who planted bombs at three sites in Mumbai may not have been locals, an examination of the CCTV footage collected from the sites of Wednesday’s blasts has indicated, according to sources.

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The sources, who are in the know of the investigations into the bombings that left 17 dead and 131 injured, said the CCTV footage has so far hinted that the terrorists who planted the bombs may not belong to Mumbai.

Investigation agencies are in possession of 11 CDs of CCTV footage recovered from the blast sites.

The investigators are also working on a theory that the terrorists, who planted the bombs may have used a “safe house” in areas near the blast sites in Mumbai to manufacture the bombs.

The theory is based on the fact that the bombs used were Improvised Explosive Devices made with ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, called ANFO. The sources added that it is difficult and dangerous to travel long distances with the prepared IED as it is unstable and can go off by even a slight spark.

Even police patrolling at various places in and around Mumbai is so intense that the bombers may not have taken the risk of being caught with a bomb, they said.

Two of the three blast sites – Zaveri Bazaar and Opera House are separated by a little over a kilometre and Dadar, the third site, is about 12 km away.

That means, if a “safe house” was used it could be close to or around Zaveri Bazaar or Opera House.

The sources said that the Intelligence Bureau had received an input from Hyderabad in February that some Indian Mujahideen men were planning to strike.

But the information could not be followed because the terrorists have stopped using cellphones and emails, they said, and added that they may have met in person.

Earlier, union Home Secretary R.K. Singh said Friday that probe agencies are scanning 11 CDs of CCTV footage for clues into the Mumbai serial bombings.

The scooter on which one of the bombs was planted has also been identified, he added.

“There are about 11 CDs (of CCTV footage) which have to be gone through, so it’s a voluminous work. People who are not recognised by local people have to be put through a data base… the suspicious people are being verified,” Singh told reporters.

“We also have identified the scooter in which one of the bombs was planted. There are various leads based on our previous databases, various people are being questioned, so investigation is going on,” he added.