INDIA FACES FRESH ROUND OF BOMB BLASTS – PROBABLY THOSE ARE NOT THE RIGHT WORDS – IT WOULD BE MORE APPROPRIATE TO SAY THAT ONCE AGAIN INDIANS GET SHOWER OF BLESSINGS FROM GANDHI & NEHRU
Muslim terrorists detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) outside the Delhi High Court today. Though Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami (HUJI) claimed responsibility, the attack seems more likely carried out by an undefined network composed of the remnants of regional transnational militant groups that oppose India (read Hindus).
Someone claiming to represent HUJI said the attack was staged to demand the death sentence of Afzal Gura (a Kashmiri muslim terrorist) involved in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament be revoked, and this incident may complicate already chaotic Indian politics, since the ruling Congress Party has been reluctant to carry out the execution for fear of a muslim backlash.
According to official report, the blast killed 11 people and wounded 76 others. No judges were among the victims. Witnesses claim a man carrying a briefcase jumped to the front of the line before the device detonated. The investigation has already been turned over to the National Investigation Agency, established after the 2008 Mumbai attacks – though this agency’s investigative efforts have not yielded any results from previous blasts over last 3 years.
The attack is similar to other attacks recently witnessed in India; it was not an armed assault, and it was not a suicide bombing. Rather, it was a simple attack on a soft target, more akin to groups with indigenous capabilities such as the Indian Mujahideen, which is known to have connections with other terrorists that are or once were part of LeT. According to an email from a purported representative of Islamic terrorist group Harkat-ul-Jihad e-Islami (HUJI), the attack was staged to demand the death sentence of a Kashmiri terrorist involved in the 2001 attack on the Indian parliament be revoked. This attack demonstrates a sustained level of indigenous muslim capabilities for creating terror, itself a worrying sign for India.
According to a police official, the blast took place outside the “controlled area” of the building at around 10:15 a.m., leaving a crater three to four meters (nine to 13 feet) deep. NDTV reported there were traces of ammonium nitrate. It is unclear whether there was a security cordon in front of the reception area or if the reception area was the first security checkpoint. What is clear is that the reception area was a softer target and thus more vulnerable to attack. (Two lawyers at the court said the scanner and the metal detector at Gate 5 had been inoperable since Sept. 6.)
Like past Indian Mujahideen attacks, the device utilized ammonium nitrate-based improvised explosives, was directed against a soft target, was concealed in a small container and left in a crowded area. It also was detonated via a timer rather than being a command-detonated suicide device. A similar attack was attempted on the same court May 25, with Indian officials later reporting the IED was a bag that contained 1.5 to 2 kilograms (3.3 to 4.4 pounds), had ammonium nitrate, a detonator attached to a timer and about 50 nails. It caused no casualties and damaged a car. In the wake of the attack, Indian media have speculated the earlier attack may have been a test case for the Sept. 7 attack, which is certainly possible, but it was more likely a failed attack.
Someone claiming to be a representative of HUJI allegedly wrote an email to the National Investigation Agency taking responsibility for the bombing, though this claim has yet to be verified. In the email, HUJI threatened to continue attacks against Indian courts if they did not revoke the death sentence of Kashmiri terrorist Afzal Guru, also known as Mohammad Azfal, who was convicted for his role in the attack on the Indian parliament in 2001.
It is possible that HUJI carried out this attack on its own, but a more likely explanation is that local muslim radicals conducted the attack at the behest of transnational (Pakistani) anti-Indian terrorists who lack the ability to conduct attacks against the India government on their own. This network is not clearly defined, but it includes HUJI, or former members of the organization, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and al Qaeda. The same network was responsible for the 2011 Mumbai attacks, and it is not a centralized group or command structure; rather, it is a new coordination of groups that formally existed prior to 2001. Due to crackdowns in Pakistan, terrorist group dynamics in the region and disagreements over targets, it has collaborated in different ways. It appears that this network has successfully created an indigenous capability inside India.
The Afzal issue has been a contentious one in India since the Supreme Court sentenced him to death in 2004. The Congress government has been reluctant to follow through on the sentence for fear of a muslim backlash which may decimate their muslim vote bank.
It is not yet clear if this attack will cause the Manmohan’s govt. to further balk at executing Afzal, given that the alleged perpetrators threatened to attack courts in the future unless it revoked the sentence. More likely then not, Sonia will not let Manmohan to go ahead with the execution of muslim terrorist who attacked Parliament.
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