Burdwan blast: Suspects scouted for recruits

  • Ravik Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times, Kolkata
  • Updated: Oct 08, 2014 02:02 IST

Video clips of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, 9/11, terrorist training camps, locally printed pamphlets calling for support to jihad in Chechnya and literature for making IEDs.

This list of materials recovered from the blast site hints that fundamentalist organisations, apart from working on creating a terror hub for manufacturing IEDs, grenades and bullets, were also on a recruitment drive in Bengal’s rural belt, including madarsas, home department sources said.

“It is evident that those carrying such documents and video clips were propagating some ideas. Shakil Ahmed, who hails from Bangladesh, toured various districts, including Nadia, Birbhum and Murshidabad. We are looking into the angle of him drawing cadres and sympathisers in rural Bengal. We are trying to identify the recruits,” a state home department official said. “Almost all the accused in Burdwan case were linked to madrasas. We are looking into whether jihadi ideals were indoctrinated or spread using such institutions,” the officer added.

The state home department added that the literature and videos were meant to influence youths, and even women, in rural West Bengal.

Sources said that fundamentalist groups who outsourced making of small arms, bombs and IEDs to Bengal needed safe houses, transport and educated young men as workers. “For this one needs to influence them. We believe the materials we found were meant for that,” said the officer.

Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, which is under pressure in Bangladesh after a series of crackdowns in recent years, has been using Bengal not only as a safe haven for a section of its leaders, but also as a base for recruitment, logistics, arms and ammunition, sources told HT.

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