Mumbai: The officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) are conducting raids, Friday, at multiple locations spread across Gujarat, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Rajasthan to ascertain the involvement of terrorist outfit Indian Mujahideen (IM) in Wednesday’s blasts in Mumbai which left 18 dead and over 133 wounded.
The NIA officials last night raided the house of one Manjar Imam, who is believed to be a close aide of IM activist Danish.
As per reports, the raids were conducted in the Bariyatu area in the Ranchi district of Jharkhand at around 11:45 pm.
Danish is currently lodged in jail and is a prime accused in Ahmadabad blasts.
Raids are also being conducted at locations in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan.
Although, it is not clear whether Imam is connected with the latest blasts in Mumbai in any way, NIA officials are said to be trying to obtain further leads from him to verify various evidence pointing to the involvement of the home-grown terrorist outfit.
The NIA and other intelligence agencies are suspecting the active involvement of key IM operatives Mohsin Chaudhry, Abdul Shadab Taukir and Mirza Shadab Beg.
The intelligence inputs gathered so far suggests that all suspects except Danish are presently out of India and operating their network from the Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), possibly with the help of Pakistan’s notorious spy agency ISI and militant outfits like Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT).
Besides, another top IM operative Salman is also likely to be quizzed by the NIA investigators in connection with Mumbai blasts.
Salman is a key accused in Delhi blasts case and is currently lodged in Lucknow jail.
The needle of suspicion has moved to the IM since the bombings at crowded places in Mumbai bear a "signature" of what the terrorist outfit had used in carrying out earlier blasts in Bangalore, Ahmedabad and New Delhi in 2008, Varanasi and Pune in 2010.
Based on these assertions, Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said that the three moderate to high intensity explosions in Mumbai were "coordinated attack by terrorists".
Home Minister P. Chidambaram said the three explosions -- at Opera House area in south Mumbai, Zaveri Bazar and Dadar West -- took place between 6.45 p.m. and 7 p.m. and "therefore we infer from this that this was a coordinated attack by terrorists".
Moreover, the material evidence collected from the blast site point that RDX and ammonium nitrate were used in the explosions.
The IM had owned up to a series of blasts in various cities across the country in 2008. It is believed to be a shadow organisation of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Toiba.