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IM email threatens Vilasrao, Mukesh Ambani

IM email threatens Vilasrao, Mukesh Ambani

Author: TN Raghunatha
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: July 28, 2008

After the Interpol Protocol (IP) address of an e-mail sent purportedly by Indian Mujahideen -- which claimed responsibility for Saturday's serial blasts in Ahmedabad and warned the authorities about fresh attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere in Maharashtra -- was traced to a Navi Mumbai apartment, the State Government on Sunday put the country's commercial capital and communally-sensitive towns of Bhiwandi, Malegaon and Aurangabad on a high-alert.

Acting on a tip-off, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) sleuths of the State police raided two 15th floor flats at Gunina Apartments at Sanpada in Navi Mumbai in the early hours of Sunday and seized the hard disc of a computer from which the e-mail had been sent by Indian Mujahideen.

The 14-page e-mail, which was received by news television channels from the terror outfit, had been sent from the address arbi_Gujarat@yahoo.com.

The Internet protocol address was traced to an American national Kenneth Heywood who works for a multinational company and is residing in flats 1503 and 1504 in C Wing of Gunina housing society located on the up-market Palm Beach Road.

Said to have been owned by one Abhishek and Mamta Sharma, the top-floor flats were rented out to Heywood and his wife five months ago.

Three persons, including the couple, were being questioned in connection with the raid on Sanpada flats.

Informed ATS sources said that Heywood had denied that he had anything to do with the e-mail sent from his IP address and told the investigators that the e-mail might have been the handiwork of some mischief mongers.

In a precautionary measure taken on the basis of a threat purportedly handed by Indian Mujahideen that it would engineer terror attacks in Mumbai and elsewhere in the State, the bomb squad of the city police carried out a thorough search of the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), where 84 people had been killed and 217 others injured in March 12, 1993 serial explosion. Also searched was a leading newspaper group's office in south Mumbai.

Not wanting to take any chances, the police have intensified security in and around the 30-storey BSE building. The police have also beefed up security in and around malls, bus, railway stations and other public places in Mumbai and Pune and increased personal security cover for VIPs and VVIPs and celebrities who perceived threats from terror outfits.

In a related development, the ATS has taken serious cognisance of a lengthy e-mail purportedly sent by the hitherto little-known Indian Mujahideen.

Signed by one Al-Arbi, the 14-page email is entitled: 'The Rise of Jihad, Revenge of Gujarat' and is released by 'Indian Mujahideen In the Land of Hind'.

Apart from taking responsibility for the Ahmedabad blasts, Indian Mujahideen has threatened Maharashtra's senior politicians -- Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, his deputy RR Patil and leading industrialist Mukesh Ambani. It has also warned the Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh Governments.

In a threat handed to Deshmukh and his deputy Patil, the e-mail reads thus: "Don't think we are unaware of the SRPF attacks on our Masjids and our homes, the insult of our Quran and your enmity with the Muslims in Digras and the nearby areas in Yavatmal and of the burning alive of three Muslims in Jalna with the backing of police. Yes! It is all being recorded and you will face the ill consequence thereof. And also the troubles faced by the madarsa students and Muslim women in Mumbai Western Railways. We wonder at your memory. Have you forgotten the evening of 7/11/2006 so quickly and so easily?".

Similarly in a warning handed to Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, the e-mail states: "We also alert Mukesh Ambani to think twice before usurping and building a citadel on a land in Mumbai that belongs to the Waqf Board, lest it turns into horrifying memories for you which you will never ever forget," it says.

Indian Mujahideen goes on to claim responsibility for Saturday's serial blasts in Ahmedabad and states in its e-mail: "The Indian Mujahideen hereby claim the sole responsibility of the Gujarat serial blasts, planned and executed by Indians only and it is our request to Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and other organisations, for the sake of Allah, not to claim the responsibility for these attacks."

In a warning given to Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh Governments, the e-mail states: "You agitated our sentiments and disturbed us by arresting, imprisoning, and torturing our brothers in the name of SIMI and the other outfits in Indore, Ujjain, Mumbai, and in other cities of Karnataka. We hereby notify you, especially the ATS and the STF and the Governments of Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh, to release them all, lest you become our next targets and victims of our next attack. Don't consider us heedless about the crimes you have committed in recent Indore riots and all this will be, Insha-Allah brought to account very soon."

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