The raids being conducted in connection with the Burdhwan blast may be a never ending affair as the National Investigating Agency suspects that there are easily around 53 bomb factories that were set up in West Bengal particulary in the Murshidabad area to carry out subversive activities. An NIA officer associated with the probe said that several persons have fled and while a wanted list is being drawn out, the priority now is to hunt down these bomb factories which still have ammunition in it.
Investigations have led to several disclosures and it has been ascertained that they operated in select places in West Bengal and the main unit was in Murshidabad which had become a landing point for these terrorists since the year 2010. The operation was planned in the year 2010 with the help of the Islamic Chattar Shibhir and the execution commenced in late 2011. Since then over 180 Bangladeshis have come in as part of this plan, the NIA says.
A key person involved in this operation was a man by the name Anisur who arranged accommodation for all the cadres. He was close to the local leadership which helped him go about his work and he ensured that he got these persons a safe place to hide.
Further the NIA says that the JMB which began planning this operation in 2010 started to pick up houses and also set up businesses which acted as fronts. The case of Shakil is an indicated who ran a garment business in Barua. Under the garb of this business he collected arms and even moved the funds around.
The new chief of the Al-Qaeda in the Sub Continent (AQIS) is an Indian national. Asim Umar who is referred to as Ustad Asim Umar hails from Uttar Pradesh, Sahranpur and had left for Pakistan after he completed his education at the Darul Uloom Deoband in Uttar Pradesh. In Pakistan he pursued his higher studies at the Jamia Uloom-e-Islamia which has also taught the likes of Maulana Masood Azhar.
According to renowned journalist from Pakistan, Hamid Mir, the main qualification for Umar being appointed as the chief of the AQIS is that he is of Indian origin a fact that has been confirmed to us by the Indian Intelligence Agencies.
The Indian agencies who are looking more into the antecedents of Ustad Umar say that as per the information that has been gathered by them, he was a student at the Darul Uloom in Sarhanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He was a student who showed a great deal of interest in Islamic studies. However the transition for him happened when he decided to pursue his higher education in Pakistan. During his stint in India, although he spoke about the cause of the Muslims, he never felt the need to raise the banner of violence through bloody Jihad. He felt that Islamic education was the need of the hour in order to upkeep the values of Islam.
There was no sign of radicalization in him during his stay in India as per what we can gather at the moment. However when he was in Pakistan, there was a change that was noticed as he was an impressive character who felt very strongly about his religion and was a brilliant student. The first to spot him was the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen who wanted him to part of an ideological wing. They managed to coax and brainwash him into joining the cause against the Indian forces. Once convinced he was roped into the training wing of the Harkat which was based in a place that they call the Azad Kashmir. His role was to speak to the recruits and tell them the importance of battling this war.
Officers of the National Investigating Agency probing into the Burdwan blast have told the Home Ministry that they would need more time to complete the probe as the network is bigger than what they had imagined. It is an operation involving several modules in West Bengal, Assam and to an extent Tamil Nadu.
In a report to the Home Ministry the NIA has submitted that several Madrasas across the country which are illegal in nature had provided support to these militants who were making bombs in India in a bid to bomb Bangladesh. The primary operation was to carry out a massive attack in Bangladesh but they had even assured local groups of support while striking in India as well.
The NIA says that it suspects that there were at least 60 bomb factories and a majority of them were in West Bengal alone. The Jamaat-ul-Bangladesh and the Jamaat-e-Islami had come together for this attack as they had a common enemy in the Awami League.
The NIA points out that this operation was planned in 2010 and the execution began in 2011. They contacted their sympathisers in West Bengal which led them to coming in touch with local politicians in West Bengal who had always quoted the Teesta water issue as a matter of concern with Bangladesh. The local politicians came in handy when they began to infiltrate and also find safe hide outs for their operation. They brought in women with them and trained them in Fidayeen strikes which was part of the plan to assassinate The Bangladesh Prime Minister the NIA report also said.
Since September 4 there have been three alerts regarding a possible Al-Qaeda strike in India. However the latest one has been termed Grade A by the intelligence agencies who also do not rule out the possibility of the AQ and the isis coming together and striking India.
While the coming together of the two groups is in retaliation to the allied strikes on them in Iraq and Syria, the, target in india would be the foreigners especially British and us nationals IB sources informed. High alerts have to be sounded in Goa and Rajasthan which are major tourist: destinations. The two groups will try and target these nationals too the IB has warned.
Further concerns of an attack by terror groups during Diwali have also been sounded. The entire nation will have to be on very high alert during this period because there are several groups which are trying to claim supremacy in India.
Bangalore, Goa and Rajasthan face the highest threat from the Al-Qaeda which will come together with the ISIS to carry out a strike. These terror groups have ample details on the various locations in these places as their associates have surveyed targets here several times in the past 6 years. Goa was surveyed extensively by the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and they had intended carrying out a series of car blasts in. 2008. However that plan was aborted after their operative was arrested. However details of the targets of Goa and Bangalore were already shared with their handlers who still have access to the information.
Make in India and target Bangladesh. The growing fondness between India and Bangladesh did not go down too well with the ISI and it helped the Jamaat-ul-Bangladesh which had become almost defunct to set up the West Bengal module which was meant to make bombs in India and target Bangladesh. This plan would have revealed that Bangladesh is being targeted from Indian soil and in the bargain the relations between the two countries would have gone sour. It is a well known fact that the ISI has not had it easy since the Awami League cracked down on almost all terror groups which were created in the first place to target India. HuJI, Jamaat-e-Islami to name a few were all nurtured by the ISI to hit India.
The National Investigating Agency which is also probing the role of Tamil based Al-Ummah in the blast says that this was an operation bigger than what we had thought. While Kausar Ali is believed to be the man who played the middle man between the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen in Bangladesh and West Bengal, the real mastermind according to both the NIA and the Intelligence Bureau is a man called Shadul Hussain who came to West Bengal exactly four years back and took shelter in Murshidabad. He coordinated with another operative by the name Reza Karim to set up several modules across Malda and Murshidabad, Intelligence Bureau officials point out. Ironically the presence of Hussain was known well to both the Research and Analysis Wing and also the Intelligence Bureau who in fact in a communication to the Home Ministry in 2011 had pointed out the same. The communication sent out by the RAW secretary spoke about these men setting up a module in Murshidabad’s Lalghola. The communication further stated that the centre should coordinate with the West Bengal government and have both these men arrested. However there was no action, an officer associated with the probe informed.
An intel report in the month of June 2014 had warned that some members of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba training ISIS militants. The report coincided with a camp of the Lashkar being discovered where Nigerians and Chechnyans were being trained in large numbers. It was at around the same time the ISIS had declared the Global Islamic Council and 800 Indians had applied for visas to Iraq and Syria.
Hot on the trail of Kausar the point man in the Burdhwan blast sleuths of the National Investigating Agency are questioning several persons in Tamil Nadu about his whereabouts. The lead came after the questioning of the accused in the incident who suggested that they had some links in South India.
An NIA officer informed that some members of the outlawed SIMI which is strong in Kerala and Tamil Nadu could have facilitated these members especially Kausar who had been tasked with moving the bombs from Kolkata to Burdhwan. Early indications had suggested that some of the IEDS nay have come in from Hyderabad but NIA officials want to closely examine the Kerala and Tamil Nadu link as well. They began with questioning three members. They would question more persons including members of the recently busted Sri-Lanka module as well. NIA officials say that they suspect that several persons down south could have helped arrange the ammunition and also a safe hide out for the members of the JMB. As per the confession of the accused a large number of IED was sourced from kolkata but it was clearly not enough for them since it was a large operation.
Omar Abdullah may have dismissed the ISIS threat but the reality is that the dreaded outfit has been eyeing the Valley and the agenda was set when it declared the formation of the Global Islamic Council. Intelligence bureau officials say that it would be the Tehrik-e-Taliban which would wage the war at Kashmir for the ISIS. Wali ur Rehman a TT commander in June last year called for a Kashmir battle through a video and only last week did the same outfit pledge it’s support to the ISIS.
The waving of the ISIS flag cannot be dismissed so easily says IB. It happened in Tamil Nadu too where youth sported T shirts of the group. One got to witness an influx into Syria and Iraq from that state. The same can happen in Kashmir too.
Moreover we have input to suggest that the TT’s support to the ISIS comes in the wake of the Al Qaeda video which calls for Jihad in India with Kashmir being the focus.
There are several youth being nurtured by the TT in Kashmir who will fight under the banner of the ISIS. There has been a lot of aggression in the Valley and Pakistan’s desperate bid to ensure infiltration into the valley is also attributed to the growing clamour for the ISIS. Pakistan does not want to lose control to the ISIS and hence is making all efforts. Moreover there is a group of youth who feel that the ISIS and TT will make a potent force. These youth feel that the Pakistan’s ISI has not done much and only a battle on the lines of Syria and Iraq will now be effective.
Yasin bhatkal too during his questioning had called the ISI a bunch of pigs who nurtured their personal agenda in Kashmir. He spoke about the need for an alternate force to fight in Kashmir. He said that the IM would look towards the TT for support. His words came true when the IM joined hands with the TT and ISIS to form the Ansar-ul-Tawhid.
A report that was submitted to the Home Ministry by the Intelligence Bureau indicates that the largest number of illegal Madrasas are in West Bengal at 4600 followed by Utttar Pradesh and Maharashtra which have 3800 and 3000 respectively. The tracking of these illegal Madrasas gains importance in the wake of the probe by the NIA into the Burdwan blast which found that several members of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen had taken shelter in Madrasas and even studied there before embarking on their deadly mission.
Illegal Madrasas are those which are run without the recognition of the state government and hence are not entitled for aide from the state. Intelligence Bureau officials say that the teaching at these illegal Madrasas is not the primary concern, but then they act as shelter to several anti social elements including terrorists. The state police machinery normally does not snoop too much into these Madrasas fearing religious backlash and this could lead to severe communal clashes. It is under the garb of religion that these Madrasas function and very often get away. Take for instance the Burdwan case. These accused persons who had come to West Bengal several years back sought shelter at a Madrasa in Burdwan. They managed to escape the eye of everyone under the garb that they were studying religion. The radicalisation process is whole other thing and the primary concern for national security is that these Madrasas had provided several such persons a shelter.
For the CBI the next stop in the Saradha scam would be to find out if Mamta Banerjee was directly involved with the scam or not. The Central Bureau of Investigation will question several more persons before it decides to question West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamta Banerjee in connection with the Saradha Scam. CBI sources say that there are various aspects that they are trying to find out regarding the alleged Mamta link to the Saradha scam. Right from the sale of her painting to the sale of television channels allegedly at her behest is what is under the CBI scanner.
We would first gather further evidence before we decide to question her and preferably we would like to rely on a court order, CBI sources informed. Her alleged role in the scam right from her days as Railway Minister to Chief Minister is what we are trying to gather evidence on, the CBI officer part of the Saradha probe informed. This process will take some time and we will begin with the questioning of some of her aides post Diwali. The most blatant angle is the sale of her painting to Sudipto Sen at a cost of Rs 1.8 crore. Investigators believe that there was a largesse involved in this purchase and on verification through various means this painting could not have cost Rs 1.8 crore. The CBI has even sought details from the Income Tax department regarding the money transaction and have been able to ascertain that the amount mentioned was indeed paid for the painting. The CBI has also found that some of Mamta’s aides had allegedly pursuaded Sen to purchase the paintings to keep her in good humour. However Sudipto Sen has all through denied during his questioning about this deal.