With bags carrying markings of executed Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru after a recent attack near Line of Control in Kashmir and an attack at the Pathankot air base that shook the nation, Jaish-e-Mohammed -- the terror group founded by Moulana Masood Azhar -- appears to be back, sources told NDTV.
Although no official confirmation has been received from the security or intelligence agencies, sources said the attack bore indications of Jaish, the group that had been spreading terror since 2000.
Sources say the five Jaish terrorists who infiltrated the base - and were killed after a day-long gun-battle -- were launched from Bhawalpur in Pakistan, the hometown of its founder.
"It's clear this group that was lying low for last several years is back in action. The two attacks in little over a month indicate its revival," said a security official.
Police sources say although only eight to 10 Jaish terrorists are operating in Kashmir, the way it is sending terrorists for suicide missions across the border is a signal of its revival. Also, the group has always targeted the vital and strategic installations and today's attack follows that strategy.
On November 25, Jaish had carried out a suicide attack in Kashmir's Tangdhar - its first major attack in a decade.
Lt Gen Satish Dua, General Officer Commanding of 15 Corps, Srinagar, said, Jaish had claimed responsibility. "Also, the terrorists had 'Afzal Guru Squad' (named after the Parliament attack convict hanged in Delhi's Tihar jail three years ago) written on their bags," Lt Gen Dua had said.
Parliament attack mastermind Masood Azhar was released in 1999 by the government in exchange of the passengers and crew of hijacked Air India flight IC-814.
For years, he had remained confined to his home in Bhawalpur. But in 2014, in an address to his supporters, he said the time had come to "resume jihad," news agency Reuters had reported.