On Wednesday, June 7, security forces seized 33,000 kg (72,700 lbs) of ammonium nitrate, which is commonly used to make homemade bombs, in the Birbhum District of West Bengal. The ammonium nitrate was being smuggled on two large trucks, with the first being searched by security forces at the village of Rampur on National Highway 60 and the second in a warehouse in Talbandh village. One individual was arrested for loading and unloading the explosive material. Police are still searching for the already identified owners of the truck.
Security officials believe the explosive material was being sent to either Maoist rebels in the neighboring Jharkhand state or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) Islamist militants within West Bengal.
Officials from National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed that JMB, which primarily operates in Bangladesh, has previously established a significant bomb making operation in West Bengal. At least eight people were killed and four others injured in an explosion in West Bengal on Saturday, April 22. The blast occurred while individuals were making crude bombs in Birbhum district. A criminal group was reportedly making the bombs in preparation for an attack on another group in neighboring Darbarpur village amid an ongoing turf-war.
JMB, an Islamist militant group, has claimed responsibility for several attacks in Bangladesh, including the attack on a café on July 1, 2016, in Dhaka's diplomatic quarter, in which 22 people were killed. Bangladeshi police have killed more than 40 suspected terrorists in raids since the café attack.
Individuals are advised to remain vigilant at all times and report any suspicious behavior to the proper authorities.
As a reminder, some Western governments advise their citizens against nonessential travel to the west of Jammu and Kashmir state and against all travel to the border region with Pakistan (direct vicinity of the Line of Control) due to the high threat of terrorism.