A series of explosions have torn through the tourist city of Jaipur late Tuesday night, killing more than 60 and wounding more than 200, according to the latest reports from India. Eight blasts occurred within 12 minutes of each other in crowded markets and near a temple, The Times of India reported. One bomb, which was placed near a Hindu temple, was defused by an Indian bomb disposal unit.
The near simultaneous strikes, described as “carefully orchestrated low-intensity explosions” bear the hallmarks of an al Qaeda operation. Sources within the Indian Home Ministry pointed the finger at the Bangladesh-based Harkat ul Jihad al Islami, an al Qaeda affiliate. Pipe bombs were used in the attack, and some officials believe the Pakistani-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group assisted in the attacks.
The Bangladeshi branch of Harkat ul Jihad al Islami Bangladesh, or HuJI-B, was established in 1992 “with assistance from Osama bin Laden’s International Islamic Front,” according to the South Asia Terrorism Portal.
“HuJI aims to establish Islamic Hukumat (rule) in Bangladesh by waging war and killing progressive intellectuals,” the South Asia Terrorism Portal stated. “It draws inspiration from bin Laden and the erstwhile Taliban regime of Afghanistan. At one point of time, the groups issued a slogan, Amra Sobai Hobo Taliban, Bangla Hobe Afghanistan (We will all become Taliban and we will turn Bangladesh into Afghanistan).”
HuJI-B fighters are recruited from madrassa, or religious schools, in Bangladesh and are trained in al Qaeda and Taliban camps Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Bangladeshi terror group plays a crucial role in training jihadists “from southern Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia and Brunei” and providing manpower for al Qaeda’s affiliates in Jammu and Kashmir, Afghanistan, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Chechnya.