IM, Indian terror group's foreign masters

Indian Mujahideen, the terrorist group blamed for several bomb blasts in the country, may claim to be working for Muslims in the country but people who created it and inspire it are far away in foreign shores. Rajesh Ahuja writes.
HT Image
HT Image
Updated on Jan 27, 2011 08:49 PM IST
Copy Link
Hindustan Times | By, New Delhi

Indian Mujahideen, the terrorist group blamed for several bomb blasts in the country, may claim to be working for Muslims in the country but the people who created it and inspire it are far away in foreign shores.

"Eye for an eye; the dust will never settle down," said Indian Mujahideen (IM) in e-mail on September 13, 2008 when it claimed credit for five bomb blasts in Delhi that day.

Three months earlier, a similar message of hate and revenge had come from an international terrorist.

"So brothers and sisters we ask Allah Almighty that he raises amongst us men and women who… would make the Kuffar realize that they by committing blasphemy against our beloved Muhammad (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) have actually walked straight into a hornet's nest and that the dust of this will never settle down," said Anwar Al-Awlaki, the Yemeni-American ideologue of al Qaeda in a sermon in May 2008.

Al-Awlaki was talking about "lessons" that had to be taught for the publication of cartoons of the Prophet in the Jyllands-Posten, a Danish paper.

Almost all recent terrorist plots in America have been linked to al-Awlaki, who is believed to be hiding in Yemen.

He was in touch with Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter.

Umar Farouk Adbulmutallab, the Christmas day bomber also met him and Faisal Shahzad, Pakistani-American accused of Times Square bombing attempt, said he was inspired by al-Awlaki.

Indian intelligence agencies are not sure if the similarity between the al-Awlaki's sermon and IM mail was a coincidence or deliberate, but they are certain that the terrorist group's prime inspiration comes from global jehadi elements.

The IM e-mails talked about the Babri demolition or Gujarat riots, but Mullah Omar, the Taliban chief in Afghanistan was anointed as one the leaders of the outfit. And the happenings in Iraq and Afghansitan fueled the anger of its operatives.

Indian intelligence agencies have collected more evidence in the last two years that show how the IM was floated at the behest of ISI, the Pakistani intelligence agency with the active support from the Laskar-e-Tayyeba.

Amir Raza Khan, the top leader of IM was sitting in Karachi while coordinating terror strikes in India. Two more top leaders of the IM - Iqbal Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhatkal - have also taken shelter in Pakistan since fleeing away from India after Indian agencies reached their hideout in Karnataka in 2008.

It was a tactical move by the ISI to use local youths in terror activities so that the international focus should remain away from it for its operations in India. And Hindu extremists have played into the hands of ISI.

Swami Aseemanand, the ideologue who gave a new direction to Sunil Joshi and his group for carrying out retaliatory terror strikes against muslims, told interrogators that the bomb blast at Varanasi's Sankat Mochan temple really rankled him.

A meeting was immediately organsied by the hindu extremists where they decided to implement bomb-for-bomb policy by targeting local Muslims. It also helped that the members of the group led by Sunil Joshi and Aseemanand were already radicalised because of various local factors.

Similar is the case of those Muslim youths who were entrapped by the ISI and its recruiters. Most of the IM operatives have been members of the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

They had become battle-hardened due to the surcharged political atmosphere of the 80s and 90s. They had reasons to feel victimised by the soft right-of-centre approach of the parties in power at point in time.

By the time the ISI decided to use local Muslim youths for its India operations, the demolition of Babri Masjid, the riots in Mumbai and Gujarat aggravated the situation.

But still it was an ISI tactic which fueled the fire that is raging now.

The 2002 Gujarat riots have been a blot on the Indian democracy. Many operatives of the IM have told their interrogators that the Gujarat riots were a turning moment in their life.

But on the other hand it is also true that Sadiq Shaikh, allegedly one of the top operatives of the IM who took part in almost all initial operations of the IM, including Sankat Mochan blast, went to Pakistan for training in handling arms and ammunitions in 2001, much before the Gujarat riots.


    Rajesh Ahuja covers internal security and also follows investigation agencies such as the CBI and the Enforcement Directorate.

Close Story

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath welcomes Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his arrival in Varanasi as governor Anandiben Patel looks on. (ANI PHOTO)

    Yogi Adityanath lauds PM Modi for emergence of new Kashi

    Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Thursday said Kashi's development journey started eight years ago under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership and transformed the city into new Kashi, which the entire world is seeing today. Yogi Adityanath was speaking at a programme in Varanasi where PM Modi laid the foundation stone and inaugurated multiple projects. Yogi Adityanath said that immense development was carried out in Kashi during the last eight years.

  • From Zone 1, 150 kg of banned plastic/polythene was confiscated, and a fine of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>1.22 lakh was collected and from Zone 2, a fine of <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>22 thousand was collected. (FOR REPRESENTATION PURPOSE)

    LMC seizes 384 kg of single-use plastic, collects 3.84 lakh in fine

    In a special drive against single-use plastic, Lucknow Municipal Corporation seized 384 kg of single-use polythene and plastic from different places in the city, including two prominent restaurants in Hazratganj and Lalbagh areas, on Wednesday evening. In Zone 1, 150 kg of banned plastic/polythene was confiscated, and a fine of Rs 1.22 lakh was collected. In Zone 2, a fine of Rs 22 thousand was collected.

  • Railway authorities would soon build a unique gallery at Prayagraj Junction in the memory of the famous as well as unsung heroes of Sangam city who laid down their lives during the freedom struggle. (File photo)

    Soon, photos and details of unsung heroes of Independence to adorn Prayagraj Junction

    As part of the ongoing “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” celebrations to commemorate 75 years of India's independence, Prayagraj division of North Central Railway is going to put up murals at Prayagraj Junction station depicting photographs and brief details of martyrs of Sangam city who laid down their lives during the freedom struggle, said railway officials.

  • She suspects that her puppies were poisoned by unknown people and therefore dialled the police control room to report the incident (HT Photo)

    Five puppies ‘poisoned to death’ in Kandivali, owner files complaint

    Mumbai A 69-year-old woman has filed a case against unknown persons for allegedly killing five of Janka's puppies in MHADA Colony at Lokhandwala in Kandivali East. Janka Udmale, who resides in MHADA colony with her mother Hausabai, 100, husband Sopan, 70, son Ajay, 40, runs a store. The police said that she has two female dogs, who gave birth to a total of 13 puppies.

  • Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar flags off 501 advance life support ambulances in Patna on Thursday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

    ‘Every block in Bihar now has advance life support ambulance’

    Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday flagged off 501 basic as well as advance life support ambulances, adding them to the existing fleet of 1107 ambulances under “102” emergency services. Kumar said he had decided last year to replace 652 old ambulances with 1,000 new ambulances in the state. The ambulance response time was expected to be 35 minutes in rural areas and 20 minutes in urban areas.

Story Saved
Saved Articles
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, July 07, 2022