The Delhi police's special cell had little idea of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) before the serial blasts that shook the city on September 13, 2008.
Four years later, the police described the terrorist outfit as the biggest threat to the country's security. The force gave a detailed presentation on IM at a conference of director-generals and inspector-generals of police recently.
IM members had been involved in terror attacks in Uttar Pradesh before setting of the 2008 blasts. "An encounter in Batla House revealed that IM had a hand in the terror attacks," a police officer said. "During a countrywide operation last year, more than a dozen IM members were arrested. The Delhi police have busted two IM modules so far," the officer added.
Despite more than 50 arrests, the outfit has been able to increase its membership. Its chief Riyaz Bhatkal is still at large. The police said that unlike the Lashkar-e-Toiba or the Harkat-ul-Jihadi, almost all members of IM were Indians. They are given training in Pakistan and get assistance from the neighbouring country, the police added.
IM, a banned organisation, was formed after the Student's Islamic Movement of Indian was banned by the government. "We found incriminating documents after the encounter in Batla House. Most of the arrested IM members have told us that they were paid huge money for planting bombs," the officer added.
Another officer said the outfit would send emails to claim responsibility for an attack. "The recent terror attack in Pune was proof that despite the arrest of several members, IM still has men who are ready to attack any part of the country," he added.