'IS has different modus operandi'

'IS has different modus operandi'

'IS has different modus operandi'

The first possible attack by an IS-inspired group in India comes at a time when the terror group is facing heavy backlash from forces led by the United States in Iraq and losing territory there.

However, officials warn, IS operates in a different way compared to other terrorist groups as it does not micro-manage the planning and execution of strikes in places beyond IS-controlled areas.

The groups are free to choose their target and modus operandi, and what is expected is only owing allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

Investigators’ preliminary assessment is that the operatives involved in the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast used pipe bombs.

Sources said they were investigating whether the attackers managed to give feedback about the attack to their handlers abroad. With investigators suspecting that they belong to the IS’ Khurasan group, sources said the handlers could be operating in Pakistan or Afghanistan. The module had a strength of nine members, who belonged to Lucknow and Kanpur.

The biggest question is how the module managed to procure weapons. The Uttar Pradesh Police recovered eight pistols and a stockpile of ammunition from the flat where Saifullah, who was killed by the anti-terrorism squad, was staying. An IS flag, gold, cash, passports, SIM cards and a train schedule were also recovered.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has already sent its team to Lucknow and Bhopal. Investigators believe the bomb was assembled in Uttar Pradesh. But they are yet to find out how the bombers managed to take it to Bhopal without being detected.

Sources said they could unravel the conspiracy only after a detailed interrogation of those arrested on Tuesday.

With IS spreading its wings across the globe, Indian agencies were keeping a close watch on the organisation and the possibility of youth joining the terrorist group.