Indian held in France had Simi links | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Indian held in France had Simi links

Mohammad Niaz Abdul Rashid, an Indian mechanical engineer from Trichy in Tamil Nadu, who was arrested by French authorities for terror links, had been radicalised in his early years in India when he was associated to groups affiliated to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

delhi Updated: May 23, 2011 23:32 IST
HT Correspondent

Mohammad Niaz Abdul Rashid, an Indian mechanical engineer from Trichy in Tamil Nadu, who was arrested by French authorities for terror links, had been radicalised in his early years in India when he was associated to groups affiliated to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

Union Home Minister P Chidambaram said Niaz has been on the radar of Indian intelligence agencies which had been tracking him very closely.

“We were in close touch with the French authorities who had tipped us off about Niaz’s links and had kept him under surveillance,” an official later said.

Niaz who was held at the Charles de Gaulle international airport in Paris earlier this month had allegedly sent two French nationals to Pakistan for terror training. These two Frenchmen were arrested last January, and their arrest led to the arrest of Pakistan Taliban leader Tahir Shaizad.

Sources say Shaizad had links with suspected Bali bomber, Umar Patek, who was picked up by Pakistani commandos last January from Abbottabad.

Chidambaram said Niaz reportedly joined a SIMI-affiliated organisation in Tamil Nadu at the age of 21 and later went to France for the first time in 2008.

He had formed a nucleus of jihadis but there were no reports yet of Niaz recruiting anyone in India.