The state ATS and Central agencies probing the August 1 Pune blasts are now closing in on fronts funding Indian Mujahideen and its activities.
One such key front based in south India projects itself as dedicated to social service but is modelled along the lines of the banned Jamaat-ud-Dawa (Jud) in Pakistan, the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s parent body. It has set up several illegal financial channels through which money is being channelled into the country for IM activities.
The anti-terrorism squad is closely monitoring this body as it may announce itself as a legitimate political outfit and contest elections in a state in south India. The organisation has roots in south India but has now built key bases in Mumbai, Pune, Marathwada region in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, said sources.
The finances the organisation generated have come largely from entities in Gulf countries. “A thorough check is being run on their finances, and the credentials of those associated with the organisation,” said a police officer, requesting anonymity.
Police sources said there are also reports that the body organised a training camp in Rajasthan. The organisation had first come to the police’s attention following the arrest of Himayat Mirza Baig in the German Bakery blasts. Baig had attended the front’s camp in Rajasthan, sources said.
Agencies concerned, including the enforcement directorate, directorate of revenue intelligence, and other Central intelligence agencies have been alerted. “The worrisome part is that the organisation has been roping in smaller regional groups and is now looking to set itself up as an umbrella body across the country,” said the officer.
“It is a scary situation. Elements of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India have received a boost to their anti-national activities through an organisation not overtly associated with terrorism,” said a senior IPS officer requesting anonymity.