Chennai, April 21: Chennai was saved by the skin of its teeth. Had the Chennai police and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) not picked up the intercepts on time, Chennai would have witnessed something worse than what the country saw on that horrific night of 26/11.
The plan was set and the operation ready. Two boats from Mannar in Sri Lanka to Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu were ready to ferry several kilograms of explosives meant to be used in Chennai.
After carrying out a series of explosions, five fidayeens were meant to take over important buildings and then execute a hostage crisis.
Chennai would have seen an attack worse than 26/11:
It is public knowledge that the entire plot was hatched by the ISI and being handled by Amir Zubair Siddiqui who was a consular officer in Pakistan High Commission at Colombo.
In the 26/11 attack, the ISI had appointed Major Samir Ali and Major Iqbal of the Pakistan army to handle the attack. In the Chennai plot they decided to give the job to Siddiqui.
Siddiqui in the first phase had sent out two Sri Lankans, Arun Selvarajan and Sakir Hussain to survey the targets.
They surveyed several high profile targets including government installations which were meant to be bombed.
Once the bombing was supposed to occur, then Siddiqui had lined up several other men who would stage a hostage crisis.
Hostage crisis after the bombing:
According to the NIA, the first intent was to bomb several targets including crowded places in Chennai. This would have sent the entire security machinery into a tizzy.
While the security was busy dealing with the bombing, the ISI had planned to send in AK-47 gun trotting men to take over the city and carry out a hostage crisis.
There were five men in all who would have been sent into Chennai. While two were from Pakistan the other three were to land from Maldives.
Siddiqui had already ensured that two persons from Colombo of Pakistan origin would be sent first to Bengaluru and then would slip in to Chennai.
The two men would go from Colombo to Maldives and then along with the other three there were meant to travel to Bengaluru. The final destination was however Chennai.
All these men were trained in Colombo and Maldives respectively, the NIA points out.
The ISI had planned on carrying out a series of attacks at the markets in Chennai and then finally take over the American Consulate.
They had code named this project as Operation Wedding Hall.
The entire operation was meant to ensure that a major attack was staged at Chennai.
However, the bigger intent behind the attack was to ensure that the ISI created a gateway into South India.