NEW DELHI: Al Qaeda commander in Jammu and Kashmir Zakir Musa circulated a train derailment manual through social networking groups to his associates in the Valley on Saturday morning, sources in the security establishment said. The comprehensive manual on how to hit rail infrastructure globally, including in India, figured in the August edition of Inspire magazine of Al Qaeda.Assessments suggest Musa-led group and the Al Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) can target the Baramullah section of the railway line in Jammu and Kashmir. Besides India, the rail infrastructure in restive Xinziang province of China inhabited by Uyighur Muslims and those in Tibet could be hit by the global terror outfit.
Of the five factions of the Uyighur radical group active in China, about three of them support Al Qaeda, which has a membership base amongst the Uyighurs. Besides, the outfit can also hit Chinese rail infrastructure in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is closer to Afghanistan.
During the last one year, at least five major train derailments have been reported in India. In the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast case, in which the NIA filed a chargesheet recently, the agency has said that the gang of five comprised members inspired by another terror group ISIS. The accused referred to ISIS’ Dabiq magazine and Inspire of Al Qaeda.
“Investigations conducted by the NIA disclosed that (accused) Atif Muzzaffar had formed a terrorist gang with several members including Mohd Danish, Syed Mir Hussein, Ghaus Mohd Khan and Saifullah, who owed their allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIS). They attended Ahl-e-Hadith programme at various places and were radicalised after watching the online publications of ISIS, including but not limited to Dabiq magazine and Inspire magazine,” the NIA said in a statement after filing of chargesheet in the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast case.
While the security of metro trains in the urban areas is given high priority and the security protocol is no less than those at the airports, the long distance trains continue to remain vulnerable in the absence of standardised security management for want of resources.
In the past, a number of train sabotage cases have remained unsolved and those behind such cases can be recruited by the AQIS, sources added.