The notion that the string of Train Derailments under the Ex- Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu were 'accidents', is a hogwash of the highest order. While Al-Qaeda officially declared war on Indian Railways in August 2017, this news was carefully sidelined and all major derailments were attributed to the incompetency of Indian Railways. India, with one of the largest rail networks in the world, is an easy target for terror outfits, as the tracks are in the open ground and easily accessible.
Jihadi groups like the Al-Qaeda were desperately searching for a chance to mark their presence globally, after ISIS sprung into prominence. Al-Qaeda knew that Indian Railways are not only India's Lifelines, but also the best way to wreak havoc amongst civilians since any attack will cause hundreds of casualties.
A railroad track within 10 minutes of a target train's arrival is a vulnerable Target that has infinite hotspots. Rail networks spread across literally lakhs of kilometers that cannot be manned or secured completely, ever!
Al-Qaeda's Official Declaration of Derailment Jihad :
The concept of Derailment Jihad is not a PR exercise or a slimy justification for the latest spew of train accidents. Al-Qaeda has officially declared derailment Jihad as its preferred mode of attack in its official magazine "Inspire" in August 2017.
Al-Qaeda released instruction manuals related to Derailment Techniques in that magazine. The magazine included step by step details on setting up a DIY (Do It Yourself), Easy-to-Install Derailment Device that can be assembled and implemented within 10-15 minutes.
Why Rail Jihad? Why not Traditional Conventional methods of attack?
Easier Medium: Since the tracks are in open fields without CCTV cameras or security measures, the chances of getting caught is very less.
Relative Safety: The operations involved in Derailment Jihad does not demand martyrdom. Hence it is a preferred method by those jihadis who just don’t want to die yet.
Cost-Effectiveness: The device used for derailment is easy to make & cheaper.
Who are Lone Mujahids?
Derailment Jihad is undertaken by a Lone Wolf Attacker who does not have the courage to die but yet wants to answer Allah's Call of Jihad.
Why is Derailment Jihad a preferred mode of attack for terrorist organisations?
1) They do not have to deal with bombs and or take care of the logistics behind sourcing and storing them safely.
2) The blame of any derailment would fall on government’s poor infrastructure.
3) Considering the desperation of Al-Qaeda to emerge back as the global terrorist leader, international attention comes cheap with derailment jihad.
From a Lone Jihadi's point of view:
1) He would still be entitled to enter Jannat
2) Despite his lack of courage in blowing himself up, he would be hailed as a great Mujahid and be compensated.
3) Security Measures can easily trespass. The Derailment Tool can be assembled and applied to a railway track just minutes before a target train is about to arrive.
4) Lone Wolf Jihadis who carry out Derailment Jihad, unlike conventional jihadis, are happy that they are going to survive the attack and still carry out something huge.
Since last three years, the concept of lone wolf attackers has been gaining pace globally. Hence, Al-Qaeda is focusing on Derailment Jihad to ensure maximum casualties. All major derailment incidents in India validate this new form of JIhad.
Trains have always been easy targets for Jihadis:
1) June 2017: NIA found explosives planted by ISI on a railway track in Bihar.
2) Nov 2016: A Pressure Cooker Bomb led to the derailment of the Indore Patna Express.
3) 2013: Canadian Police arrested two men for plotting to derail commuter trains between Toronto and New York
4) 2009: US officials thwarted the attack on New York Trains.
5) In 2006, a series of Train Bombs killed 180 people within 11 minutes in Mumbai
6) 2005: London Bombings
7) 2004: 191 people killed in Spain due to ten bombs in commuter trains
Some of the Major Derailment attacks which were treated as Accidents:
1) 2017: Six coaches of Haridwar-bound Utkal Express derailed at Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh on Saturday, killing at least 5.
2) January 22, 2017: 32 killed and 50 injured after seven coaches of the Jagdalpur-Bhubaneshwar Express derailed in Vizianagaram Dist, Andhra Pradesh
3) Nov 20, 2016: 142 people killed and 200 injured after 14 coaches of Indore-Patna Express derailed in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh
4) The Panipat-Ambala passenger train was attacked twice in 2016.
5) March 20, 2015: 38 Killed and 150 injured after Dehradun-Varanasi Janata Express derails near Bachhrawan, Uttar Pradesh
6) May 4, 2014: 20 people killed and 100 injured after Diva Junction-Sawantwadi passenger train derailed in Raigad, Maharashtra
7) May 28, 2010: 148 people died in the Gyaneshwari Express train disaster in May 2010.
239 major train accidents happened between 2003 to 2015. Out of these 208, or over 80 % of incidents occurred due to mysterious derailments. Al Qaeda wants us to believe that these are Rail Accidents. And fortunately or unfortunately, we buy their theory. Around 17 major Train Accidents took place in the year 2017. Most of them were incidents of derailments. The new railway ministry under must not just investigate, but find ways to safeguard our rail networks from these lone wolf jihadis. It must also clarify and publicly declare that these derailments are not ordinary accidents, but well planned covert attacks by Lone Wolf Jihadis and Al-Qaeda Operatives.
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