With the arrest of an Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative in Friday’s Jamia Nagar encounter, the country’s anti-terror establishment is hopeful of gaining an insight into IM’s working.
Mohammad Saif, the arrested terrorist, is reportedly a close aide of IM mastermind Atif alias Bashir, who was killed on Friday. The police also claim to have gathered valuable information while tracking Atif before the encounter.
Joint Commissioner of Police Karnal Singh, who heads Delhi Police’s Special Cell, says Atif is suspected to be the “head of IM and had acted independently but in close co-ordination with the pro-jihad faction of SIMI led by Abdus Subhan Qureshi.”
“We used to think IM is a frontal, attack team of SIMI, but the latter now seems a front for IM,” remarked Singh. Other intelligence sources, however, maintained that IM is a sub-group of SIMI even though it has recruits not directly linked to SIMI.
Qureshi is suspected to have coordinated between Atif and SIMI’s pro-jihad faction to plot and execute attacks. He is believed to have emailed the last three blast warnings sent to media in the name of IM.
IM’s independent, secretive character was highlighted following the arrest of Abu Bashar, key suspect in the Ahmedabad blasts case. Bashar, who is being interrogated in Delhi, had reportedly told his Gujarat Police interrogators in July that he “did not know much about IM” and that even Qureshi was only liasing with this group.