For a group such as the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) carrying out an attack in South India has become relatively easy considering the strong network it has.
Although it lacks the numbers it used to have in its inner circle its links to groups in South India ensures it can attack at will. [Latest Updates on Church Street blast]
Why the agencies are looking at SIMI?
The SIMI has gone through many transitions and has its ups and downs. After it decided to re-group following the downfall of the Indian Mujahideen the two major strikes it carried out were at Patna and Bodhgaya.
However after the NIA took over these cases, their main module in Bihar was busted which left them looking for cover. Following the jail break at Khandwa in Madhya Pradesh it appears as though they have returned with a resolve.
Carrying out bank robberies and also attacks at Chennai and Pune they have resolved to return. In this context the agencies suspect that they could have carried out the attack at Church Street as well.
Lacking in numbers
For the SIMI the biggest problem today is the lack of cadres. It is making a desperate attempt to increase its membership. Moreover there are no expert bomb makers and the last of them were arrested after the Patna blasts.
This explains the kind of bombs that they have planted and each one of them has been very crude and of very low intensity. The kind of timer and the packaging that they have used in the blast at Chennai and Pune indicates that they are missing an expert.
Working in batches
The five men of the SIMI who are on the run never are seen together. They realize that them being on the run is their best chance to revive the outfit. Hence they work in two batches and the Intelligence Agencies say that they this is a ploy on their part.
They reach a particular place get in touch with their sympathizers who provide them with shelter. Once the job is done, they slip out. These men have been seen in various parts of the country in the past one and half years ever since they escaped.
Two stayed in Bangalore
The Madhya Pradesh ATS which is hot on their trail had indicated that two of the operatives had even stayed in Bangalore for two days a couple of months back. Further it was also said that they had visited Hyderabad a couple of times and they had even carried out a bank robbery at Karimnagar in a bid to fund themselves.
This input would be vital to the investigations as if it is ascertained that it was the SIMI which carried out the attack then it would become clear that they were here on a mission.
It all started here. The Wagamon camp which was held in Kerala in the year 2007 was a turning point for South India terror. This camp which hosted 30 SIMI operatives which included the two persons who broke out of Wagamon was a camp arranged to train the cadres.
This camp which was held in the month of December 2007 was aimed at breathing life into the SIMI cadres and Kerala was the obvious choice for the venue.
For the SIMI operatives this camp proved to be a boon as they built up a lot of contacts here. The primary observation that one needs to make is that two of these SIMI members from the Khandwa jail break took part in this camp.
This would mean that they are well connected down South and could possibly be using the Kerala connection to carry out their activities.
It was decided at this camp that all the cadres would network among each other. The primary idea was to train all of them and ensure that they are well networked.