SIMI vs Al-Ummah: Who could have struck at Church Street?

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Looking at the ongoing investigations, it becomes clear that the police is focusing on two outfits believed to be involved in the Church Street blasts. The main focus is on the Al-Ummah at the moment while the police also do not rule out the possibility of the SIMI too being involved in it.

The Al-Ummah is a group which largely focuses on carrying out a blast in a bid to send a political message to the BJP or the RSS. If the police manage to ascertain that it is the Al-Ummah which carried out the attack it would be very interesting to see what the motive is since there is no political message to be sent out from Church Street.

SIMI vs Al-Ummah: Who is behind blast?

The SIMI on the other hand is making a desperate bid to announce itself. It does not mind carrying out an attack anywhere as long as it is in contention.

Let us see how the two groups function:

Al-Ummah:

The Al-Ummah is a Tamil Nadu based outfit. Member of this outfit claim that they started it to retaliate against the demolition of the Babri Masjid. The outfit has been banned by the Tamil Nadu government after the involvement of its members was found in the major Coimbatore blasts.

If one looks at the functioning of the Al-Ummah it becomes clear that the intent is to target Hindu leaders only. The first major attacked that it staged was outside the RSS office in Chennai which claimed the lives of 11 persons.

This outfit founded in the year 1993 by Syed Ahmed Basha and H Jawahirullah in Coimbatore was also responsible for the Coimbatore blasts of 1998. It was at this time they had also tried to target L K Advani. The BJP leader however managed to escape as his flight had been delayed.

The Al-Ummah made its debut in Bangalore during the 2013 blast outside the BJP office. The members of the outfit who were arrested and questioned at that time said that the intent was to send a strong message to the BJP.

In the instant case of the Church Street blast it is to be seen what role this outfit could have played. Looking at their past attacks it is clear that they sent political messages to the BJP and the RSS. If at all their role in this attack is ascertained

The SIMI:

The SIMI or the Students Islamic Movement of India is undergoing a transition. Its members split up following the ban and a very radical side to it headed by Safdar Nagori was born.

However after the arrest of Safdar Nagori this outfit started to crumble and that is when some of its youth decided to float the Indian Mujahideen. Now with the Indian Mujahideen down in the dumps, the SIMI is looking for recognition.

The radical SIMI which also like the Al-Ummah sought to send out political messages changed its track and carried out attacks more to gain attention.

The Bodhgaya blasts was their first major operation after the re-grouping. This was followed by the Patna and Chennai blasts. According to the intelligence this group is still trying to make its point in various cities and this probably could be to increase its recruitments as they are not getting enough men.

In the Church Street case, there was an alert relating to the SIMI. The police and also the Union Home Ministry say that this is also an angle being probed.

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