– MUMBAI DOUBLE BOMBING
On Monday 08/25/2003 noon, two bombs exploded – one in the commercial Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai and the second near thecolonial-era Gateway to India monument. About 50 people were killed in the explosions and over 150 wounded. The commercial center is located near the Hindu Mumbadevi temple which was build on the ruins of a Muslim Mosque and causes tension between the Hindu and Muslim communities in India. The INDIAN regime feared that the attack could spark a new wave of religious violence, particularly between Hindus and Muslims. Zaveri Bazaar was already targeted by bombs attack on 03/12/1993. Both bombs were inside the trunks of taxi cabs.
Hours later, nine mine detonators were found on a railway track on a major line 85 kilometers (about 50 miles) north of Mumbai, at Kafara.
Three days after the attacks, the media reported that a man claiming to represent Al Qaeda, and identifying himself as Abu al-Hadeed, stated that “whoever has carried out the attacks in Bombay, we express our gratitude and happiness”.
The two bombs were made from the highly explosive gelatin sticks that are available locally since gelatin is used for quarrying and other controlled blasts.
On 09/02/2003, the INDIAN police arrested four suspects in the attack – Syed Hanif, a middle-aged auto-rickshaw driver living in the northern Mumbai area of Chimatpada; his wife, Fahmida, and his 16-year-old daughter Farheen and a fourth suspect – Ashrat Shafiq Ansari suspected of planting one of the bombs near the commercial Zaveri Bazaar center. Syed Hanif was suspected of planting the second bomb near the colonial-era Gateway to India monument. In his house the police found 22 detonators, 235 gelatin sticks and 14 timing devices.
The investigation revealed that the attack was masterminded by a Lashkar-e-Toiba cell based in Dubai and led by Maulana Haroon as the spiritual leader, Abdul Aydeet alias Naseer and Zahid Yusuf Patne as the operational officers of the cell, who provided the logistics and the money. Zahid Yusuf Patne recruited in Dubai the INDIAN Muslim citizen Syed Hanif, who commanded the operation in Mumbai, while he worked as an electrician at a hotel in Dubai in early 2002.
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