An Islamic centre called Dar-us-Salaam, with a library, auditorium and book shop, was the hub of the sleeper cell set up by Kafeel Ahmed, currently detained in the United Kingdom for his involvement in the failed terror attacks there, the Bangalore police have claimed.
Many of Kafeel’s friends, including a civil engineer, questioned by the police have admitted to attending meetings convened by Kafeel at this centre, located on the first floor of a building in the Shifaa hospital compound, close to the busy Queen’s Road. It was from here that Kafeel operated from last December to May this year.
“He would deliver lectures in the auditorium, use it to indoctrinate people and recruit them for the jihadi cause,” said a senior police officer investigating the case.
“We have evidence that Kafeel sent e-mails to his friends to invite them to meetings at Dar-us-Salaam where he distributed printed and audio material relating to atrocities on Muslims across the world and exhorting them to join the jihad in protest,” he added.
People who received or acquired such material are now trying their best to hide or destroy them. But a couple of such CDs are in the Hindustan Times’ possession. “Rise up to fight the injustice against Muslim brethren across the world. Do not be targets, make others your targets,” one of them exhorts. Recent events in Chechnya, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan are all referred to, invariably portraying Muslims as oppressed victims.
Though the police were not willing to confirm whether the CDs with HT were those distributed by Kafeel, they confirmed that the material they had seized from his parents’ house was very similar.
Denied entry into the larger mosques once their extremist views became known, Kafeel and his friends would also gather in small, lesser known mosques for their meetings. The pan-Muslim focus of these meetings, police officials maintained, pointed to Kafeel’s links with global terror outfits. Investigators said Kafeel tried to indoctrinate co-suspect Mohammed Haneef’s brother-in-law at these meetings.
The police are also trying to find out whether Kafeel conducted a “dry run” of the medical syringe-trigger technology he used in the failed London and Glasgow attacks, in Bangalore. A manual on how to cause such explosions has been found on Kafeel’s hard disk, which the police have recovered from his family.
Investigators have also gathered details of Kafeel’s travels while he was based in Bangalore. They are intrigued by how much he moved around. “He travelled a lot, specially across south India. We want to know if he established contacts with any of the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba cells in Mumbai, Delhi or Kashmir,” said an intelligence officer.
Kafeel even went to China. Police are still at a loss as to why he did so.They wonder if it was to establish contacts with China’s Uighur Islamic militants who are active in the areas bordering Pakistan.