JMB emerging as a threat in South India, NIA launches probe
At least 3-4 incidents of robberies in Bengaluru, linked to JMB operatives, are currently being examined by the NIA while the terror outfit’s leader in India – Jahidul Islam alias Kausar—is being interrogated.Updated: Sep 25, 2019 12:53 IST
After its attempt in 2014 to create a base in West Bengal’s Burdwan, Bangladesh-based terror outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh has once again emerged as a big threat, this time in South India.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently registered a case to probe the activities of JMB in the southern states after inputs that its members have indulged in robbery to collect funds, according to two senior officials familiar with the developments.
At least 3-4 incidents of robberies in Bengaluru, linked to JMB operatives, are currently being examined by the central probe agency while the terror outfit’s leader in India – Jahidul Islam alias Kausar—is being interrogated.
“JMB, following a major crackdown in Burdwan by us in 2014, in which over 50 of its members were caught in West Bengal and Assam, failed to carry out terror attacks in that region. Kausar, who was instrumental in formation of JMB training camps, procuring explosives in 2014 for making over 100 bombs and planning the Bodhgaya blast in January 2018, had moved to Bengaluru and he was reviving the outfit. But even after his arrest in August last year, it seems somebody is furthering the activities of JMB in South India,” said one of the officers cited above, requesting anonymity.
The NIA took Kausar’s custody again on September 19 this year. On Tuesday, based on his interrogation, it recovered material used in making IEDs (improvised explosive devices) from JMB’s hideouts in Bengaluru. A micro lithium cell, chemicals, handwritten letters in Bengali and articles that were robbed were also found during the raid.
The agency raided hideouts in Atibele, Kadugodi, K R Puram, Chikkbanavara and Shikaripalya, Electronic City in Bengaluru. “Jahidul Islam disclosed during questioning that after the 2014 Burdwan blast, he and his associates went to southern India to escape the agencies on their trail,” said a NIA spokesperson.
Islam also identified locations in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu where he and his associates Habibur, Arif and Fahim alias Fahad allegedly test-fired three rocket shells prepared by them during June-October 2017.
“The NIA seized remnants of explosive materials from the location,” the spokesperson added.
JMB was banned by the Union ministry of home affairs in May this year. JMB’s leader in Bangladesh is Salahuddin Salehin while Kausar looked over operations in India. The outfit’s main objective is to establish Islamic rule across the Indian subcontinent.
Not only has the outfit used Indian soil for hideouts in West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand and other regions but it is “quietly” carrying out subversive activities like collection of funds, recruitment of vulnerable youths to train and radicalize them.
The outfit is supported by Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and has funding channels in various countries.