Forged in the heart of new India, terror’s unrecognisable face
Terrorists were “them”. Now, they are “us”: Young, educated, and angst ridden. How does an MBA student become a terror suspect? How do we stop the creation of another Indian Mujahideen? Hindustan Times explores the answers in this new series starting from today. Special Coverageindia Updated: Sep 25, 2008 23:29 IST
Long before they became famous as the Delhi bombers, the two young men in a faraway UP town were famous for their cuts and cover drives.
Atif Amin — killed last week in New Delhi and named on Wednesday by Mumbai Police as a top terror conspirator — spoke English, was cricket-crazy, computer-savvy and career-conscious.
Mohammed Saif was arrested for the September 13 bombings that killed 30 people. Saif was in the local cricket team along with Atif.
Seven of the 13 suspected bombers — including Amin and Saif — are from Sanjarpur outside Azamgarh, 19 and 23 years old.
The suspects were studying to become MBAs, computer engineers, chemists or doctors. One even had a marketing job.
If Atif and Amin are guilty, it is a chilling saga of how two young Muslims chasing dreams in the new India set out to destroy the very idea. The Indian Mujahideen is a story of how wrongs against Muslims — including the 2002 Gujarat riots and the Babri Masjid demolition — are still fuelling rage among “people like us”, and being made the justification for deadly acts of terrorism.
In a nine-part series of stories, Hindustan Times reporters across India document the new challenge — as well as stories of hope from the Muslim community.