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Napalm-like bombs new terror weapon
Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, February 20
While the identity of the perpetrators of the Delhi-Attari Express blasts is yet to be established, sources in the intelligence claim that there had been inputs on terrorist organisations being trained in the assembly and use of napalm-like bombs.

Napalm is a mixture of flammable liquids used in warfare. Its military version, of the kind used by US forces in Vietnam, is jellied gasoline. The make-shift devices being used by terror groups, though a far-degraded form of napalm, are potent enough to cause widespread pubic damage and panic as just witnessed. Also referred to as “kitchen bombs”, these can be easily assembled.

Three suitcases containing flammable liquids, explosives and timers had been planted in three coaches of the train, out of which two went off.

According to the sources, the remarkable finesse with which the attack on the train was carried out points fingers at highly professional terror groups, among which the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) tops the list. Banned by Pakistan in 2002, it was renamed as Jammat-ud-Dawa (JuD), or the Party of the Calling, to circumvent the ban.

Though investigations are still in a preliminary stage, the blasts are being linked to a conference organised by JuD chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed on February 4 in Fatehpur near Lahore and related activities, where the call for jihad or holy war was reiterated, the sources in the intelligence revealed. The conference, according to the sources, was held at the Al Saud marriage hall. It was attended by about 2,000 persons strictly on the basis of an invitation.

The sources say Saeed is not only the most vocal opponent of Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf’s policies, but also travels freely in Pakistan collecting funds and organising conferences.

Despite its professed ideology of waging a jihad affecting South Asia, Russia and China, JuD has not been banned by Pakistan. It is well known that the US had tried to put JuD on the list of Al-Qaida affiliates when Pakistan was holding the United States Security Council presidency. The attempt was first foiled by Pakistan itself and later by China.

According to intelligence reports, JuD was also among the first groups to set up rescue and relief operations in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir after the devastating earthquake in 2005.Since the Pakistani army is reported to have prioritised the rescue of its own personnel, it was no accident that militant groups were the first to arrive on the scene to help out the locals.

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