Home Minister P Chidambaram said the July 13 blasts in Mumbai could be the handiwork of a homegrown terror module, possibly the one which also carried out the German Bakery blast in Pune last year.
“The Pune terror attack was by an Indian module. In Mumbai too, all indications point to the role of an Indian module,” Chidambaram said in his reply to a short-duration discussion on internal security in the Rajya Sabha. This is the first official confirmation of investigations over the last three weeks throwing up a home-grown jihadi outfit – in all probability, Indian Mujahideen – as the likely perpetrator of the Mumbai blasts that killed 26 people.
Disagreeing with the Opposition’s charge that the Mumbai blasts were an intelligence failure, Chidambaram said the 13/7 attacks were in fact a case of “no-intelligence.” “There is a difference between the Pune and Mumbai blasts…we had the intelligence on Pune and had alerted state agencies…but Mumbai was a case of no-intelligence,” explained Chidambaram.
Elaborating further, he said lack of any intelligence in Mumbai was a scenario experienced because policemen and intelligence men were not deployed in every neighbourhood, agencies were not listening in to all phone calls or cracking every computer, there was no available database that could help track terrorist activity. “Such a case of no-intelligence in Mumbai gives me no comfort. It should warn us to be more careful as we had no intelligence on this module (responsible for 13/7 blasts),” he underlined.
Speaking on the larger issue of terrorism that the country faces, the home minister said three facts needed to be kept in mind. One, India was located in the most-troubled and vulnerable hotspot in the world with the epicentre of terrorism having shifted to Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
“We will continue to be under the shadow of terror,” Chidambaram said, also pointing to the weak and fragile states – Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – in the immediate neighbourhood.
The second noticeable fact was that although there was no gainsaying the fact that terror came from across the border, with terrorists infiltrating from Pakistan, Bangladesh-Myanmar and Nepal and penetrating deep into the hinterland, home-grown terrorist groups had emerged on the scene over the last few years. They included SIMI, which later morphed into Indian Mujahideen. These groups were totally Indian, though inspired by ideology of foreign terrorist outfits.
The third terror scenario that had emerged in the recent years was the rise of right-wing, fascist groups. “The home-grown terror groups, as popularly believed, do not practice one religion,” he said adding that the unconvincing faith that these groups belonged to one particular religion had led agencies to wrongly put young men in jail for several years for no fault of theirs. “Fascist terror is on the rise… We cannot continue to live in denial,” stressed Chidambaram. Economic Times