Kolkata, Dec 26: West Bengal may have beaten Kerala to become the most fertile ground for terrorists to breed. The state may have not witnessed a major terror attack, but anti-nationals continue to breed in large numbers and the Intelligence Bureau has blamed this on a soft policy coupled with appeasement.
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In this backdrop, a probe by the National Investigation Agency goes on to show how an Islamic State operative was plotting revenge against the Russians, Americans and the British for bombing operatives of the outfit in Syria and Libya.
The Burdhwan blasts of October 2014 were a huge wake up call for the agencies.
The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh, had set up a module to prepare over 500 bombs which were meant to be exploded in West Bengal and Bangladesh. A huge operation was in the making, and had it succeeded, the number of lives lost would be countless.
While the busting of the Burdhwan module was a success thanks to Central agencies, the state police didn’t not do a good enough job during the follow up. A year passed, and then came the IS surge. The terror group tied up with the JMB to set up the Bengal Caliphate, and this was the beginning of a new era for terror in West Bengal.
Plotting revenge against the Russians:
The NIA, while conducting a nation-wide raid in January 2015 picked up several operatives from West Bengal as well. The July 2016 Dhaka Cafe attack was another grim reminder of how members of the JMB and the IS came together to stage a horrific attack.
During the course of investigations, the NIA arrested an operative by the name Mohammad Musa. His plan was to target sites in Kolkata which was frequented by foreign tourists, especially Russians, Britishers and Americans.
Following his arrest on July 4, Musa told the NIA that he planned on attacking the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in central Kolkata. He explained to the NIA that his aim was to target the Russians, Americans and Russians who regularly visited the Mother House. This was in retaliation to the bombing of the IS operatives in Syria and Libya, he also explained.
An NIA transcript details the conversation that Musa had with his Bangladesh handler. He says that he had selected the Mother Teresa House and tells the handler about the large number of foreign tourists who visit this place.
The handler tells Musa to go ahead with the plan.
‘To avoid detection, you must stay in disguise as a non-Muslim,’ the handler tells Musa. ‘Such an attack will attract worldwide attention the handler also tells him.