Bodhgaya serial blasts: After 'IM' arrests last year, temple was known as target

Bodhgaya blastsA Buddhist monk worshiping out side the Mahabodhi temple complex at Bodhgaya. Nine serial explosions rocked the internationally renowned temple town of Bodhgaya early on Sunday. (PTI)

After warnings of a possible terror attack at Bodhgaya temple, 16 CCTVs had been installed on the premises, but only one could record Sunday's explosions and images of a possible suspect. Probe agencies are banking on this footage to provide the first breakthrough in the case.

The alert was sounded following "confessions" by Indian Mujahideen (IM) suspects caught by the Delhi Police between August and October last year for involvement in the 2012 Pune blasts. They allegedly revealed that they planned to target Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad and Bodhgaya temple in Bihar. The suspects also claimed to have discussed Pune court and jail as targets. Related: Blasts at Bodhgaya, 2 hurt

Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) officers had also said at the time that interrogation of the IM men had revealed Bodhgaya and Dilsukhnagar as targets.

However, the warning appears to have failed to prevent either the February 2013 attack in Dilkushnagar, or the Sunday blasts in Bodhgaya.

In his statement to the Delhi Police, Sayed Maqbool, a resident of Nanded in Maharashtra, had allegedly said that he along with others planned to carry out suicide attacks on Buddhist shrines in Bodhgaya as a retaliation to the alleged atrocities being committed upon Muslims in Myanmar. Their plan apparently had the approval of the Bhatkal brothers Riyaz and Iqbal. Related: Dalai Lama, Tibetan govt express shock

In an official release dated October 26, 2012, the Delhi Police said: "....sustained interrogation of the accused arrested by us revealed that a person Sayed Maqbool was in close association with (the four previously arrested terrorists) and together they planned to commit fidayeen attacks on the Buddhist shrines in Bodh Gaya in Bihar as retaliation to the alleged atrocities being committed upon Muslims in Myanmar".

While the alleged IM men had carried out a recce in Hyderabad, they didn't make a similar trip to Bodhgaya.

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