Patna, Ranchi bombs similar but unlike other 'IM bombs'
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The crude bombs that exploded in Patna and the nine explosives seized in Ranchi have strong similarities, investigators have found, indicating they were made by the same or a connected group of people.
Also, these two sets of pipe bombs and the cylinder bombs used in Bodhgaya earlier this year used the same 'Lotus' brand watches as timers, with the Lotus watches in the Bodhgaya and Ranchi bombs belonging to the same 'Diamond' series.
However, these bombs are unlike the ones used in the past by the Indian Mujahideen, which is suspected to be behind the two attacks in Bihar this year. This, sources said, could either mean that IM has found a new bomb-maker after the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal — its co-founder and bomb expert — or an entirely new group is behind the attacks.
After analysing the bombs used in Patna and those seized in Ranchi, Jharkhand Police suspect the IM is using a combination of two kinds of IEDs, both of which are new to the organisation.
"They are using the high-intensity gelatin-based pipe bombs and flame-based elbow bombs that are relatively weak," said Additional Director General of Police S N Pradhan, spokesperson for the state police.
Investigators said this is a departure from the boat-shaped bombs and pressure cooker bombs used by IM in most attacks including in Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Pune.
While the boat-shaped bomb originated in Bhatkal in Karnataka, pressure cooker bombs were first used by the Azamgarh module. After Yasin Bhatkal took over as the head of IM's India operations, boat-shaped bombs were more preferred and were used in the 2010 Bangalore blasts too.
National Investigation Agency sources said fugitive IM operatives Waqas and Tahseen Akhtar could be the group's new bomb-makers who are trying to change the shape of bombs. Waqas, said to be a Pakistani national, is a trained bomb maker.