BOMBAY, India – Indian authorities on Friday named a third suspect in this week's train bombings in Bombay, as the local media said the well-coordinated attacks that killed 200 people were planned by Pakistan's main intelligence agency.
Bombay Police Commissioner A.N. Roy said a man known only as Rahil was the third person being sought in connection with the eight blasts in Bombay's commuter train network during the evening rush hour on Tuesday.
The government's Anti-Terror Squad Thursday night had released photos of two other suspects, Sayyad Zabiuddin and Zulfeqar Fayyaz. Their nationalities were not given, nor was it clear where the photos of the two young, bearded men originated.
Investigators gave few other details. Officials say they suspect the Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, which operates in Kashmir, the Himalayan territory at the center of the long-running India-Pakistan conflict.
A Lashkar-e-Tayyaba spokesman, Abdullah Ghaznavi, has denied the group was involved.
But several Indian newspapers reported on front pages Friday that Indian intelligence agencies have told the government that the attacks were planned by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency.
The respected New Delhi-based Hindustan Times quoted an unidentified intelligence source as saying that the explosions have all the "hallmarks" of an ISI operation.
The government's National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan "pointed a finger at Pakistan" during a Cabinet meeting on Thursday, The Indian Express said.
Given that all newspapers carried similar unattributed reports, it appeared the allegation originated from a single source in the government. It is common in India to blame the ISI after any terrorist attack.
Pakistan did not immediately respond to the charge, but consistently denies stoking terror in India or fanning militancy in Kashmir, which is divided between India and Pakistan. Both nuclear-armed countries claim the entire territory and have fought two wars over it since their independence from Britain in 1947.
On Wednesday, the Indian government had demanded that Pakistan dismantle all terrorist networks on its part of Kashmir.
Roy, the Bombay police chief, said the two suspects named Thursday had been on the run since mid-May, when authorities arrested three suspected Muslim insurgents and seized large quantities of arms, ammunition and plastic explosives after a long highway chase in western India's Maharashtra state. Bombay is its capital.
The seizure included 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of RDX explosives, 10 AK-47 assault rifles and 2,000 rounds of ammunition.
News reports at that time had said the arrested men were Lashkar-e-Tayyaba members.
Lashkar has in the past used near-simultaneous explosions in Indian cities, including an October attack in New Delhi that killed more than 60 people. The group was also named in a 2001 attack on India's parliament.
On Thursday, a man claiming to represent Al Qaeda reportedly claimed the terror network had set up a wing in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where Islamic militants have been fighting for years for independence from predominantly Hindu India or union with mostly Muslim Pakistan.
There was no way to immediately verify the Al Qaeda claim. If true, it would be the first time Usama bin Laden's network has claimed to have spread into Indian territory.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was set to visit Bombay on Friday to meet with bombing victims and local investigators, officials said.