Bengaluru: The proscribed terrorist organisation, Al Ummah, has now reportedly morphed into South India-based ‘Base Movement’, which owes allegiance to Al Qaeda and has made the lower courts in the region its prime target.
There have been four terror attacks in lower courts in South India since April this year and the last such attack, at a court in Nellore in Andhra Pradesh, was allegedly carried out by the Base Movement cadres. “In the blast debris at Nellore Court, the forensic team found a pen drive, which contained a message that the Base Movement will execute more such attacks on courts in Maharashatra and Tamil Nadu,” said an officer on condition of anonymity.
“The Arabic noun qa'idah means foundation or basis and Base Movement derives its identity from Al Qaeda and inspired by its slain leader Osama bin Laden. Al Ummah was founded in Tamil Nadu in 1993, a year after the Babri Masjid demolition,” the officer said.
According to Intelligence agencies, Base started its propaganda more than a year ago from Bengaluru; in January 2015, when a two-line letter was posted to the office of the then additional chief secretary to CM Siddaramaiah with a warning that the group would strike that year. The sender had signed off as ‘Base Moment’ from Kovai (Coimbatore). The letter was later tracked to Singanallur in Coimbatore. A year later; on January 11 this year the French consulate in the city received an anonymous letter from Chennai by post. The unsigned letter bore the ‘signature’ of Base Movement and warned the French President Francois Hollande against visiting India during Republic Day.
The letter was tracked to Triplicane in Chennai with the name and address of the sender unknown. The third letter, which was received by the office of the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Taxes, Chittoor in AP soon after a bomb went off in the district court complex on April 7 this year stated that the blast was carried out by the ‘Base Movement’ in retaliation to the killing of five alleged members of the proscribed organisation SIMI in Warangal on April 7 last year. “The police and Intelligence agencies have now begun to join the dots of the four terror attacks,” said the officer
The Chittoor court was followed by a second blast in Kollam in Kerala in June. The Principal District Judge Court complex in Mysuru was the third target, when a pressure cooker bomb went off on August 1. This was followed by a fourth low-intensity blast in Nellore on September 12
The National Investigation Agency is likely to take up all the four cases, the officer said.