7th April ‘16: A crude bomb goes off in the Court complex in the Andhra town of Chittoor, injuring 3 and damaging several vehicles. A letter dated 12th April issued in the name of the Base Movement was sent to the Deputy Commissioner (Commercial Taxes-Chittoor) which also contained a picture of Osama Bin Laden and words Al Qaeda written at the bottom.
15th June ‘16: One man injured after a country-made ‘steel bomb’ explodes at the collectorate-cum-district courts complex in Kollam, Kerala.
1st Aug ‘16: Loud explosion in the toilet of the Mysore Court complex. No one injured.
12th Sep ‘16: An IED goes off in the Nellore court complex.
1st Nov ‘16: A bomb blast near the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court in Malappuram, Kerala. A letter similar to that of the one sent to the authorities in Chittoor back in April was found near the site which attributed the blast to the Base Movement and also contained a photo of Bin Laden.
Five explosions at different court complexes in the country since April 2016, with an approximate gap of 45 days. All the blasts are suspected to have a common link between them, the Base Movement.
Base Movement is believed to be a transformation of terror outfit Al Ummah with the possible backing of Indian sub continental wing of the Al Qaeda or AQIS. The phrase “Base Movement’’ is suspected to be a reference to Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), formed in August 2014 with the official name of “Jamaat Qaidat al-jihad fi’shibhi al-qarrat al-Hindiya’’ or “Organisation of the Base of Jihad in the Indian Subcontinent’’. Al Qaeda has also incidentally been active in recruiting youths form Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Al Ummah, a terror outfit based in Tamil Nadu founded in 1993, was responsible for a blast near the RSS office, Chennai in 1993 which killed 11 people and the 1998 Coimbatore bombings which killed 58 people and whose chief target was LK Advani.
Al Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent: Ayman al-Zawahiri an al-Qaeda leader, announced the establishment of a new branch in the Indian Subcontinent on 3rd Sep 2014. It has most notably claimed responsibility for the deaths of Bangladeshi Bloggers.
All the explosives in the first four cases were strikingly similar in having the same trigger mechanisms and detonators, which led many to believe, were the work of the same organization.
They reportedly sent 3 mails to authorities to warn of attacks early this year and one of it was sent to the French Consulate in India in January 2016 before the visit of French Prime Minister Francois Hollande.
In the last two attacks pen drives with similar contents were found near the bomb sites which contained a message from base movement warning of more blasts and contained pictures of terrorists Burhan Wani, Afzal Guru, Yakub Menon and the man lynched over eating beef, Mohammed Akhlaq. According to police sources they also contained the images of Narendra Modi and other political leaders.
By keeping their attacks low profile, they have so far managed to avoid high attention to their deeds and possible heavy crackdown by the authorities. But five attacks in eight months all targeting the courts might signify an increase in their influence and intent. With no lives lost in the attacks, there doesn’t seem to be adequate impetus on part of the authorities to act and the media to extensively report the issue. By carrying out all the attacks in court complexes, they have quite possibly launched an attack on our judicial institutions much more so made evident by the deaths of Afzal Guru and Yakub Menon who were tried and convicted by our courts.