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Bangalore blasts a terror drill by Al Qaeda?

April 21, 2010 21:59 IST

Pakistani terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri, the chairman of Al Qaeda's military committee, could be behind the twin low-intensity bomb blasts which occurred outside Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday. 

"The two low-intensity bomb blasts outside a cricket stadium in Bangalore on Saturday bear the hallmarks of a broader plan by Pakistani Ilyas Kashmiri, the chairman of Al Qaeda's military committee and commander of his own 313 Brigade, which has extensive terror expertise, especially in India and in Indian-administered Kashmir," an Asia Times Online report has stated.

As per the report, Kashmiri had previously orchestrated such low-level attacks in preparation for much bigger operations, as happened prior to the Mumbai terror attacks in  November 2008, in which 166 people were killed.

On Saturday, two explosions injured 14 people outside the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Three other crude bombs were found near the venue and defused a day later.

The incident occurred ahead of an Indian Premier League match.

The report states that in February, in a message to Asia Times Online, Kashmiri had warned of attacks in India by stating, "We warn the international community not to send their people to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, IPL and Commonwealth Games [to be held in Delhi in October]. Nor should their people visit India -- if they do, they will be responsible for the consequences."

Although some Indian authorities have attributed the blasts to the racket of illegal betting, the attack fits into a pattern that Kashmiri has followed over the years. In this case, he is likely to have financed the local underworld to do the job, the report further stated.

Talking about the modus operandi of Ilyas Kashmiri, the report states, "In February, this year, there was a deadly bombing of the German Bakery in Pune, which killed nine people, including two foreigners, and injured 57. A shadow organisation, the Indian Mujahideen, using words similar to those used by Kashmiri in his message to Asia Times Online, claimed responsibility for the Pune attack, saying it was in retaliation for 60 years of persecution of Muslims in India and against Indian participation in the United States-led war on terror".

Mentioning various probable reasons for the low-level attacks, the repot states it could have been carried out to gauge how the Indian security forces react to a terror strike, to test the level of coordination between various security agencies, to see how long it takes for the elite forces to mobilise and in what manner, or to measure the response of the local population.

More such 'terror drills' could take place before a large-scale attack, the report by Asia Times Online warned.

Source: ANI