Terror highway links state, Gujarat | india | Hindustan Times
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Terror highway links state, Gujarat

The corridor of terror built across the country by the Students Islamic Movement of India, and which runs through the state and Gujarat, first came to the fore on May 9, 2006, reports Stavan Desai.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2008 01:10 IST
Stavan Desai

The corridor of terror built across the country by the Students Islamic Movement of India, and which runs through the state and Gujarat, first came to the fore on May 9, 2006.

On that day the Anti-Terrorism Squad in an operation backed by the Subsidiary Intelligence Bureau seized 43 kilograms of RDX, 16 AK-47 assault rifles with 3,200 ammunition rounds and 50 hand-grenades on the Nashik-Aurangabad highway from four activists of the banned organisation.

Heading the module was 30-year-old Mohammed Ameer Shakeel Ahmed of Aurangabad. He was arrested with three workers of the Students Islamic Movement of India while transporting the explosives and weapons consignment to Gujarat.

Ahmed and a youth named Zahibuddin Ansari alias Zaby, whom he had recruited and who had been trained at Lashkar-e-Tayyeba camps, had conspired to transport the consignment “to kill Narendra Modi and Praveen Togadia”.

During his questioning by security agencies, Ahmed gave a chilling account — a copy of his interrogation report is with the HT — of how the banned student outfit had spread its terror network through the two western states, among the most economically developed in the country.

Ahmed, who joined Students Islamic Movement of India after 1984, was indoctrinated into the anti-India movement of the organisation while studying to become an aleem (maulana) at the Dar-ul-Uloom Falah Daren, Tarkeshwar, on the outskirts of Surat in Gujarat. During his Gujarat stay in 1995-98, he came in contact with Lashkar-e-Tayyeba operative Aslam Kashmiri, who offered to send him to Pakistan for training, “to which I told him I would inform in due course”.

While he continued participating in activities of the Students Islamic Movement of India in the state, it was after the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat that Ahmed again visited the seminary in Gujarat, where he was entrusted by the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba with recruiting youths for terror training.

By 2005, Ahmed had recruited seven youths from Aurangabad, of which three “accompanied Aslam Kashmiri to Pakistan”.

One of them was killed by security forces while infiltrating into Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Ahmed told investigators that from 2005 till his arrest he had held meetings in Kashmir with Lashkar commanders and sent youths across to Pakistan for training, sometimes via the Kathmandu and the Iran route.