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Rameshwaram Cafe blast suspect possibly linked to ISIS Ballari module as similarities in modus operandi surface: Reports suggest citing official sources

As per reports citing official sources, the Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast bears resemblance to the Mangaluru Cooker blast case which was linked to the ISIS module.

In a shocking development in the probe into the Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast, reports are now emerging suggesting a possible link between the suspect and the Ballari ISIS module.

Reports citing official sources have pointed at several similarities between the blast and the cases linked to the ISIS module, although whether the ISIS Ballari module is still active is yet to be confirmed. One of the similarities mentioned in the reports is the assembly of the improvised explosive devices (IED).

Moreover, the execution of the blast also appears to have similarities with previous such blasts in the state including the Mangaluru cooker blast.

In December last year, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested eight terrorists in the ISIS Ballari module case including its leader Minaz. The NIA swooped down on 19 locations spread across Ballari and Bengaluru in Karnataka; Amaravati, Mumbai and Pune in Maharashtra; Jamshedpur and Bokaro in Jharkhand and Delhi.

The raids also led to the seizure of explosive raw materials, such as Sulphur, Potassium Nitrate, Charcoal, Gunpowder, Sugar and Ethanol, sharp-edged weapons, unaccounted cash and incriminating documents, along with smartphones and other digital devices.

The accused had planned to use the explosive raw materials for the fabrication of IEDs, which were to be used for carrying out terror acts. Another similarity is that the Bengaluru blast too appears to be a lone wolf attack so far like the Mangaluru cooker blast case.

The CCTV footage obtained from the Rameshwaram Cafe after the explosion showed a person wearing a white hat and mask, carrying a backpack and wearing spectacles entering the Rameshwaram Cafe.

Image source: Republic

The investigating team seized a timer, battery, circuit, panel, and wire associated with the explosive device. The suspect terrorist posed as a customer and put a bomb in the hotel while pretending to have breakfast.

The materials needed to make the device were forwarded to the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) for further examination.

Other than the ISIS Ballari module, a link to Lashkar-e-Taiba’s module led by terrorist Abdul Karim Tunda aka “Doctor of Bomb” is also emerging. Tunda was acquitted in a terrorist bombing case in Rajasthan just a day before the attack in Bengaluru.

Notably, the NIA had also foiled a suicide attack planned by the Lashkar module in Bengaluru last year. The Rameshwaram Café blast is also being attributed to the PFI module, a SIMI offshoot based in Uttar Pradesh’s Deoband.  

ISIS is increasing its influence in Karnataka, while PFI struggles to reorganise owing to financial constraints and monitoring by central agencies. Security agencies are concerned about ISIS’s access to funding and the radicalization of former PFI jihadis.

As per reports, several suspects have been detained by the police but the arrest of the accused has not been confirmed yet. The accused is suspected to have fled towards Tamil Nadu.

NIA to probe Rameshwaram Cafe blast case

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has handed over Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe blast probe to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has re-registered the case and started an investigation. The case was handed over to the NIA last week following the visit of an NIA team to the blast site.

As reported earlier, the blast took place at the cafe on March 1 in Bengaluru’s Whitefield area where several people were injured following an explosion that occurred during the busy lunch hour. Over half a dozen people got injured after a low-intensity blast took place in The Rameshwaram Cafe, a popular eatery in Bengaluru’s Brookfield area. Earlier, the Bengaluru Police had registered a case under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Explosives Substances Act in connection with the explosion at the cafe.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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