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Sunday, December 17, 2006

Mobile phones latest terror tools

Fidayeen attacks have come down in India this year as militants have switched over to cellphone-driven detonation of improvised explosive device (IED) across the country.

And it is not happening only in J-K, even Naxalites have started using cellphones to trigger bomb blasts. “In Andhra Pradesh, there were 15 mobile phone- induced bomb cases this year, some of which we detected before the Left extremists could set off the bomb,’’ said DGP Andhra Pradesh Swarnjit Sen. The London serial blasts was also mobile phone triggered.

A recent recovery (September 16) of IEDs fitted with a mobile phone in a pressure cooker from Tahroo Chowk, Srinagar, has forced the Mumbai investigating team to re-examine the 7/11 serial blasts — whether the pressure cooker bombs placed in the trains were triggered off by mobile phones.

“This recent change in tactics has opened up a different front altogether, we use jammers only when VIPs move,’’ Sen said, adding even jammers could be futile, if the militants start using satellite phones to detonate bombs.

In all these blasts, the militants had filled explosive chemicals or IED in steel boxes or pressure cookers. Its detonator was connected to a cellular phone and after planting the bomb, they called up from elsewhere, which could be as far as the US, and as the mobile rings, the circuit gets completed, which triggers the explosion.

• January 2, 2006: Hyderabad Police detected IED in a large steel box and its detonator was connected to a mobile phone

• March, 2006: Hyderabad Police seized a Nokia 3310 model (modified), five kg of ammonium nitrate and three electronic detonators with literature and diagram to make mobile-triggered IED

• September 12, 2006: Militants planted a Nokia 1100 under a heap of stones at Sirpora Airwani Road in Kulgam. They detonated the bomb targeting an ex-minister’s cavalcade on his way to Shalibug

• October 16, 2006: Militants used a cellphone for a blast at village Okey in Kulgam

• November 8, 2006: An IED was planted on the wall of an irrigation canal passing through a railway track at Gulzapora in Pulwama. The IED was detonated by a mobile phone

Not only this. On September 16, the Srinagar police recovered two IEDs of mobile mechanism fitted in a pressure cooker from a car. Six days later, CRPF troops patrolling in Anantnag recovered one IED fitted with a mobile phone. The chip and circuit had been removed and it was filled with PEK (Plastic Explosive Kirki ).

Even fidayeen attacks in J-K have come down this year. According to Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, in 2005, there were 15 fidayeen attacks. This year, only three attacks have happened.

Indian Express
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