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Revealed: Why Lashkar's terror plans for Chennai were called off

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: June 29, 2009 19:16 IST
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Chennai would have seen a spate of terror attacks had the Lashkar-e-Tayiba not called off their plans at the last minute, revealed Sarfaraz Nawaz, the Gulf operative of the LeT, who is currently in the custody of the Bangalore police and is being interrogated for his role in the various blasts that rocked the country.

The reasons to postpone or rather call off the Chennai operation was three fold, he revealed.

A senior police officer in Bengaluru told that Nawaz explained that when the blasts in Bengaluru were being planned, the LeT had decided that they would also undertake blasts in Chennai simultaneously.

The entire operation was planned by the Lashkar and later executed by the Indian Mujahideen.

Nawaz said that while the Bengaluru operation was planned in detail, there was not much planning that went into the Chennai operation. The main reason for the cancellation of the operation was due to the lack of planning.

The second reason was due to the want of logistic support in Chennai. The capital of Tamil Nadu and its surrounding areas have never been LeT friendly and the outfit is still setting up bases in those areas.

This meant that the Lashkar was most of the time operating on borrowed logistics rather than a dedicated logistic cell of their own.

Nawaz said that a day before the Bengaluru blast, a call was made from the Gulf by an operative by the name Wali directing them to call off the operation.

During the call he explained that they sensed that the Chennai operation would fail and they did not want to waste any money on a failed operation, since the costs for the operations at Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Delhi were already surging.

The Lashkar also realised that Chennai was the only part of southern India where the heat on the outfit was less. Hence, they decided to keep the Chennai plans on hold.

As part of its larger plan, the Lashkar had planned on setting up a base and several sleeper cells in the city from where it could launch terror strikes, Nawaz said.

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Vicky Nanjappa