The use of drones to drop improvised explosive devices in the technical area of Jammu airport has shaken the security grid, with the possibility of using the RDX in IEDs adding to the anxiety.
Sources told News18 that preliminary tests revealed RDX could have been used in IEDs. “It looks like RDX, but more testing is needed, so samples have been sent to labs for forensic analysis. Reports will take 48 to 72 hours, ”a senior security gate officer told News18.
The NIA indictment in the Pulwama attack case stated that the RDX was brought in from Pakistan in batches and that a car bomb was assembled to kill 40 CRPF jaws in February 2019. Approximately 35 kg of explosives had been used to set off the Pulwama explosion, the NIA said. Although Jaish-E-Mohammed and Masood Azhar were named the brains of the Pulwama case, in the Jammu airport case the investigation also focuses on the role of the Lashkar-E-Toiba branch, the Resistance Front (TRF) right now.
A police officer in the Jammu investigation said the IEDs used were extremely sophisticated. “About 1.5 kg of explosives were used in each of the two bombs,” the officer said.
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IEDs were designed to be triggered on impact. The NSG Bomb Data Center, NIA and Jammu Forensic Team have all collected evidence on the ground to help investigate the plot.
Major central government sources said they would wait for the results of the investigation and forensic testing before confronting Pakistan with evidence. Defense expert Major General Katoch said India must treat this as an act of war if an investigation conclusively establishes Pakistan’s footprint. “If an unmanned aerial vehicle from Pakistani soil entered India, it is a violation of the ceasefire. India must react. If Balakot was not dissuasive enough for Pakistan, then dissuasive retaliation is needed, ”he said.
What we know so far
Around midnight somewhere along the international border and with the help of Pakistani forest rangers, a drone was prepared and loaded with IEDs and the GPS coordinates of Jammu air base were fed.
An hour and a half after midnight, in the technical area of Jammu airport, an IAF patrol spotted a flashing light in the sky. Their guard was off but before the patrol team could act, at 1:37 a.m., the drone dropped its first IED which tore open the roof of a barracks.
Two IAF personnel were injured when shards from the roof pierced. Five minutes later, a second explosion occurred as the drone dropped its second payload.
Officials suspect that the Pakistan-based conspirators subsequently recalled the drone as no evidence of it was found on the ground. “At 99%, it looks like the drone is coming from Pakistan. We have checked and concluded that none of the terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir have a drone or have the ability to assemble one, “said a senior intelligence official.
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Jammu Police filed FIR under UAPA Sections 16 and 18, 23 IPC 307, 120b and Explosives Act Section 3 for Terrorism, Terrorist Conspiracy, Enhanced Punishment for Use explosives to commit an act of terrorism, attempted murder, criminal conspiracy and use of explosives.
Second IED recovered: terrorist attack averted
In a second case, a 22-year-old identified as Navid Ul Haq was arrested for possession of a 5 kg IED. Police say Haq received IED from the Resistance Front, an offshoot of LeT, to place him in a crowded community in Jammu to cause maximum damage. “So far there is no connection between Haq and the drone attack, but he is being questioned to see if he has any information on the source of the explosives used in the drone attack by the conspirators.” , said a Jammu police officer.
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