US embassy cable - 06CHENNAI802

INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE ATTACK: TRAIL GOES COLD

Identifier: 06CHENNAI802
Wikileaks: View 06CHENNAI802 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Chennai
Created: 2006-04-25 11:47:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Tags: PTER PGOV PINR ASEC CASC OVIP IN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO3711
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHLH RUEHPW
DE RUEHCG #0802/01 1151147
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251147Z APR 06
FM AMCONSUL CHENNAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8086
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1609
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 4738
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA 0485
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 1193
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0501
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1023
RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 0146
RUEHLH/AMCONSUL LAHORE 0024
RUEHPW/AMCONSUL PESHAWAR 0216
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 CHENNAI 000802 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SENSITIVE 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DS/IP/SA FOR JOHN LEAZIER 
DS/DSS/ITA FOR STEVEN CAPELLI 
DS/DSS/OSAC FOR BLAIR JOHANNSSEN 
NEW DELHI AND MUMBAI FOR RSO 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER, PGOV, PINR, ASEC, CASC, OVIP, IN 
SUBJECT: INDIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE ATTACK: TRAIL GOES 
COLD 
 
REF: (A) 05 CHENNAI 2901, (B) CHENNAI 00017 
 
1. SUMMARY: (SBU) Four months after a gunman opened fire 
at the Indian Institute of Science (IISC) at Bangalore, 
the assailant remains at large.  While Karnataka police 
officially blame the Jammu and Kashmir based Lashkar e- 
Tayyiba (LeT) for the attack, in private they speculate 
that the attacker could be from one of India's northern 
states or is a local.  The dismantling of a LeT cell 
based on the interrogation of a suspect in the December 
28 attack may have prevented a follow-up attack.  In the 
aftermath of the shooting, Karnataka police have 
established a new police zone in Bangalore's information 
technology corridor and initiated a surveillance program 
of mosques in sensitive parts of the state. END SUMMARY 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
IISC ATTACK: BANGALORE POLICE YET TO CAPTURE GUNMAN 
--------------------------------------------- ------ 
 
2. (SBU) Four months after the December 28, 2005 attack 
on the Indian Institute of Science at Bangalore, city 
police are still seeking those responsible (Ref A). 
Initial openness by law enforcement officials about the 
progress of the investigation has now been replaced by an 
unwillingness to share details about the case.  Bangalore 
Police Commissioner Ajay Kumar Singh at a meeting told 
Post, "These are issues that cannot be discussed." 
Kishore Chandra, Additional Director General of Police 
Intelligence (ADGP I) Karnataka, who handled the initial 
investigation, however, told Post that the trail had gone 
cold (Ref B). 
 
3. (SBU) Karnataka Police officially state that 
investigations indicate the attack was carried out by a 
module of the Jammu and Kashmir based Lashkar e-Tayyiba. 
"That is the line we are pursuing," B.S. Sial, Director 
General of Police, Karnataka told Post.  But ADGP I 
Chandra now believes that Islamic terrorists from India's 
northern states or perhaps a local terrorist cell carried 
out the attack (Ref B).  Subash Bharani, Additional 
Director General of Police Law and Order (ADG LO), 
endorsed Chandra's supposition, speculating that the 
attackers came from across Karnataka's northern border. 
 
----------------------------------- 
KARNATAKA POLICE DISMANTLE LeT CELL 
----------------------------------- 
 
4. (SBU) Interrogation of Abdul Rehman, alleged 
operations Chief of LeT in south India, led to the arrest 
of four other operatives in Karnataka (Ref B).  Mehboob 
Ibrahim, age 35, a trained fabrication mechanic turned 
mullah of Guledagudda in Bagalkot District in north 
Karnataka, was arrested on January 17, 2006 and police 
allegedly seized from him incriminating documents and 
explosives.  Nizamuddin, age 24, and Noorulla Khan, 25, 
both of Chintamani in Kolar district of Karnataka were 
arrested on January 25, 2006 at Hesarghatta, a Bangalore 
suburb.  Police seized from them a country (homemade) 
pistol, bombs hidden in lunch pails and detonators.  On 
February 12, 2006, Chan Pasha, a forty seven year old 
clothing store owner was arrested for allegedly operating 
a hawala system that funneled money from Saudi Arabia to 
operatives in India.  Pasha allegedly met Rehman in Saudi 
Arabia where the latter operated a business.  "We 
prevented a follow on attack in January 2006," ADGP I 
Chandra told Post. 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
ARRESTED LeT CELL MEMBERS AHL-E-HADEES ADHERENTS 
--------------------------------------------- --- 
 
5. (SBU) All of the suspects arrested so far are 
adherents of Ahl-e-Hadees, a sect in the Salafi tradition 
 
CHENNAI 00000802  002 OF 002 
 
 
of Islam.  The sect has a following among some educated, 
urban Muslim youth in search of jobs.  Through a network 
of the sect's adherents in the Gulf, mullahs in Ahl-e- 
Hadees mosques often secure jobs for young members. 
While most youth view membership primarily as a passport 
to personal economic improvement, some fall prey to the 
group's Jihad ideology.  Ahl-e-Hadees remains a minority 
group among Karnataka Muslims.  The majority of 
Karnataka's Muslim community follows the Deobandhi 
tradition, a synthesis of Hinduism and Islam.  Roshen 
Baig, a former Karnataka Home Minister and senior Muslim 
Congress leader, told Post that a lack of support for 
strident Hindu-nationalism among the Hindu majority helps 
to keep militant Islam in check in Karnataka. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
POLICE RESPONSE: REORGANIZATION AND MORE SURVEILLANCE 
--------------------------------------------- -------- 
 
6. (SBU) The attack's aftermath brought a fiscal windfall 
for Karnataka Police.  An exclusive police zone covering 
the Electronic City-Whitefield suburb of Bangalore which 
hosts the majority of companies in the city's famed 
knowledge industry was approved by the state government. 
An expanded quick reaction team and a doubling in the 
size of the city police force are other approved 
proposals.   Karnataka's ADG LO Bharani told Post that 
surveillance of mosques suspected of harboring extremists 
is providing actionable information.  Former Home 
Minister Baig remains skeptical, however, saying that 
officers often pocket the money meant to pay for 
informants. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
USG ASSISTANCE: JUST GIVE US THE INFORMATION 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
7. (SBU) COMMENT: Despite a cold trail, Karnataka police 
are reluctant to seek USG assistance.  Top state police 
officials with Cold War mindsets remain suspicious of USG 
intentions.  "Give us the information and we will act," 
Karnataka DGP Sial told Post.  Post will continue to 
encourage greater cooperation from Karnataka police 
officials.  END COMMENT. 
 
HOPPER 

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