Explosive used in India bombings points away from AQ (Update: Or does it?) (Update: ISI agent arrested in India)

Clint Taylor, who’s the bloggy authority on jihad in India, told me after the attacks to keep an eye on the combustibles. Well, here you go:

The explosive used in a series of attacks on a train system in Bombay was not RDX, forensic tests have found…

The absence of RDX has led police to believe involvement by Lashkar-e-Toiba or other large terror organizations in the attack is unlikely and the investigation may shift to smaller local groups, police sources said.

The Press Trust of India says it was probably dynamite or ammonium nitrate.

Although what’s this?

Ghulam Hussain Cheema and Aftab Mahaddin Siddiqui were arrested in the [Nepalese] capital Thursday after police received an alert that the two men, wanted in connection with a five-year-old case involving a senior Pakistani diplomat caught with 16.5 kg of RDX, had resurfaced in Nepal.

The timing of the two men’s arrival in the Nepal capital could have a link to the seven blasts in local trains in Mumbai on Tuesday or new activities of Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI.

Speaking of ISI, a day after an official in India’s home ministry accused them of planning the operation, India’s prime minister said this morning, more obliquely, that he’s “certain that these terror modules are instigated, inspired and supported by elements across the border, without which they cannot act with such devastating effect.” Pakistan naturally denies it. It’s not clear to me if the explosives evidence would affect Indian intel’s assessment about ISI’s involvement, but I bet Clint will be along later to opine.

Meanwhile, a prominent Shiite cleric in Karachi has been killed by a suicide bomber. Hindu retaliation? Nope. Red on red, as usual.

Update: Just posted at the Blotter:

Intelligence sources in Mumbai say they have identified three terror cells of the group Lashkar-e-Toiba in the suburbs of Mumbai. LET is a Pakistan-based terrorist group that seeks independence for the disputed Kashmir region.

The police chief in Mumbai, P.S. Pasricha, has said that authorities have put these cells under surveillance and have already “got some special clues.” Pasricha said they have identified three people as Lashkar operatives that are suspected to have planned the train blasts.

Maybe they used dynamite instead of RDX to create plausible deniability?

Update: The Times of India reports that an ISI agent has been arrested in Hyderabad.

Clint notes the story and e-mails:

No idea … whether he has any direct connection with the bombings; more likely they’re running in the usual suspects and he fell out. But notice that he received arms training in Saudi Arabia.

Now bear in mind that if Venus were to attack Saturn there would be certain elements of the Indian press and gov’t that would blame the ISI. Not that they would necessarily be wrong… But it is a politically useful thing to do.

Update: Niiiice catch by Clint, although I think he and I are the only ones reading this post: the Goa Herald alleges that not only has AQ set up shop in Kashmir, but that Dawood Ibrahim recently journeyed out to Pakistan’s Afghan border to meet with the big dog in person.

Update: Clint sends yet another killer link: the Mumbai Mirror says Indian counterterror officials have zeroed in on seven bombing suspects, all of whom had either trained in Bangladesh or spent time there after being trained in Pakistani terror camps … by ISI.

Supposedly the mastermind got away, but eleven of his associates were caught — with RDX. Which suggests state sponsorship. Which, again, points right at ISI.

Clint says he’s got a post coming. I’ll update when it’s ready.

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