IM’s splitting headache

The Indian Mujahideen which keeps raising its head once in a way to cause a ruckus in the country has been operating in a very interesting manner of late.
Investigations being conducted into the Chinnaswamy stadium blasts at Bangalore have revealed an interesting fact and that is the manner in which the IM has broken up its modules to carry out operations in India.
There was a lot of talk post 13/7, Delhi High Court and Varanasi regarding the rebirth of the IM. The biggest worry was however the fact that the cases were not getting cracked due to the want of a specific trail or lead.
Today what investigators have found is that the I’m has split up its modules into  different regions in the country. The common link which investigators have found is that the Chinnaswamy blasts, Varanasi blasts and the 13/z attacks were orchestrated by the same module controlled by the Riyaz Bhatkal module. The Bhatkal module controls Karnataka, UP and Maharashtra.
What has been noticed is that the IM has deliberately reduced the areas of operation and hence has split its modules into different regions. They found the need to keep the activities of one module away from another which helps them in dodging investigators.
Sources in the Bangalore police say that traces of a Bhatkal operation could be found in the recent attacks. He has his set of boys who are very loyal to him who carry out attacks in absentia. However they have deliberately not communicated with each other directly which has made the job of the police very tough. However the message has reached through word of mouth and there is a fixed set of me directly involved in the operation who carry communicate among each other.
Police have also found that each of these modules do not have more than ten to twenty people. It is a very closed group and surprisngly during the investigations persons who have been close to the usual suspects do not have any information on them. They have aped the Indian Intelligence very well and have thoroughly worked on a need to know basis.
The IM would continue to operate on a small scale in the days to come as well. There has been no specific input to show that they are increasing the size of their modules and recruitments too have come to a stand still. They would wait for all the heat to wear off until they come back strong under the name of the Bullet 313.

The Bullet 313

In the past one and half years, the nation witnessed three attacks-Varanasi, 13/7 and theDelhiblasts. For quite sometime now the investigators have been clueless about the attackers and today gradually small leads are trickling in. Investigators are closing in on the Bullet 313, a group within the Indian Mujahideen which could have carried these attacks.

Post 13/7, the name of the Bullet 313 had come up very briefly. The name of this outfit was picked up based on intercepts and the interrogation of a couple of Indian Mujahideen operatives who are in custody in various parts of the country.

The Indian Mujahideen story is nothing new and everyone is aware of how the group had risen and also fallen. However since the past two years there have been very slow attempts to revive the outfit and the group has been working on some small level operators who have come together to form the Bullet 313. A name that is inspired from the Al-Qaeda’s 313 brigade, this group was basically created to carry out attacks inIndiaunder a new banner. Earlier there were communications which did indicate that the IM was planning something on the terror front. However this time around there was no mention of the name of this new outfit and the communication between the operatives on email or phone was nil. This had made investigators run around in circles and this only helped these operatives carry out their business.

Today the Bullet 313 is a force that is growing and could turn into a big headache if not curbed. It was carefully set up and the name of the new outfit was intentionally not revealed. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau say that they wanted a slight change in their strategy and did not want too much publicity about the new name since they wanted to set up a strong outfit. This outfit was set up one year back and it was decided that all new operations on Indian soil shall be undertaken in this name.

Take the interrogation of the various IM operatives in the country which were conducted after theVaranasiblasts. The investigators did realise after theVaranasiblasts that this had marked the return of the Indian Mujahideen, but the newer pattern that was being used was something that had foxed them.

Under the Bullet 313 a lot of usual traits of the IM were not witnessed. There plans were not extensive and the operations were on a smaller scale. People chosen for the job had no history in police records and the use of technology was almost zero. Most importantly the brazen mails were also missing after the attacks. Fora quite sometime the police had no clue about this group and who had even carried out the attack. Then came the 13/7 blast which was a slightly bigger operation compared to theVaranasiattack. Then came theDelhiblast which in fact for the first time in the three attacks showed signs that it was an IM like operation. A mail was sent out, but the intention was more to confuse the investigators leading them to believe it was the Harkat-ul-Jihadi which had carried out the blast.

By the time theDelhiblast occurred the police had a fair idea as to who exactly were carrying out these attacks. The mail after theDelhiattack was an intentional ploy to distract the investigators.

As per the preliminary investigation reports pertaining to all the three blasts mentioned above, the new group Bullet 313 was set up inDelhiitself. A couple of disgruntled youth in the Old city ofDelhihad set this up. Today the Bullet 313 has its strong wings in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Uttar Pradesh. It is on a much smaller scale compared to the IM, but if left alone could grow into another headache. Moreover the formation of the Bullet 313 is keeping in tandem the tradition of creating new names every time a ban is round the corner. The Students Islamic Movement of India had just before the ban formed a radical side to it which later went on to become the Indian Mujahideen. The case of the IM is the same. After the crack down and just when a ban was round the corner it formed the Bullet 313. Terror groups do this very often to keep the heat off themselves. Today the Bullet 313 has approximately 500 members and the entire network works on a word to mouth. As mentioned earlier the use of communication even through phones is very minimal. They have also relied very less on the use of foreign funds and kept the number of cadres and modules also to a bear minimal. The basic idea was not to carry out large scale attacks, but to keep causing an irritation to the establishment with smaller attacks. They also did realise that carrying out very large attacks needed major planning and there was every chance of getting busted if they did so. Smaller attacks needed a maximum of four persons and they could have communicated personally and carried out the attack and this exactly is what we are witnessing today.

Over the past couple of months the police have been interrogating several operatives of the IM and each of them has spoken about how the outfit has been trying to regroup. Be it Danish Riyaz or Salman alias Chotu each one has been telling the police that some youth had been planning on staging a come back. However none of them even spoke about the name of the outfit which ultimately turned out to be the Bullet 313. Riyaz even went up to the extent of telling the police that he had recruited around 30 new cadres for the outfit. However Riyaz also went on to confuse the investigators by saying that certain attempts to regroup had been made, but due to the lack of funds they had to shelve the plans. The police were misled by this statement of Riyaz and this proved fatal since what followed wasVaranasi, 13/7 andDelhi.

Reading into Agra blasts

The National Investigating Agency which is being kept busy with the probe into the Delhi blasts has now been taking a close look at the blast at Agra which took place on Saturday.

A day after the attack four persons were detained and questioned. The police however have not managed to get much out of them, but today continue to look into smaller modules which could have possibly carried out such an attack.

Although Agra has been a terror target since it is a tourist attraction, the police have not really been able to find any proper activity by fringe groups till date. According to the police there are some small cells in this region, but they have mostly found them to be self motivated. There are spill over factions from Delhi and Old Delhi which are working in Agra and they are not capable of carrying out big attacks. However these modules can be irritants and are capable of carrying out such small time attacks only to create diversions.

Sources in the NIA say that they would want to look at the Agra blast along with the Delhi blasts and see if there was any connection. There is nothing conclusive at the moment to show that it was an act of terror, but when you read this attack with the recent intelligence warning regarding Agra, it is an angle that we would want to explore.

The intelligence warning which was sounded in respect of Agra spoke about an attack on tourist places. Further it was also said that some youth from Delhi who are still upset with the Batla House encounter are forming smaller groups to carry out such strikes. Hospitals have always been soft targets and it is probably the easiest place to sneak a bomb into. There is a lot of activity and one can see that even in bigger places security at hospitals is very low. Moreover the Indian Mujahideen has carried out an attack in a hospital during the Ahmedabad blasts.

The investigations meanwhile are progressing into the Agra blasts. The preliminary report regarding the explosives have shown that there was a mixture of potassium chlorate, sulphur and charcoal and the same was packed with sharp objects in a cylindrical object. An IED was used to trigger the bomb with a nine volt battery.

Investigating agencies say that they have however found no connection between the Delhi and Agra blasts. Although it is suspected that it was carried out to confuse investigators, there is no direct link that has been found. However if the NIA says it is the HuJI which has carried out the Delhi blasts, it is not necessary that a module of the HuJi necessarily had to carry out a blast in Agra to divert investigators. Terror modules of different groups do not necessarily intereact with each other, but they do understand each others interests and can act on behalf of one another in times of need. This could have been the case in the Agra blasts and an angle that investigators are exploring. Terror groups do realize that some inroads are being made in the Delhi blasts and the NIA has even taken the probe down south. They are planning on questioning some operatives in Kerala which include T Nasir the accused in the Bangalore blasts case. Although there may not be any direct link with the Delhi blasts, it would help the NIA understand the formation of the HuJI in India better, NIA sources also said.

Agra: An act of personal rivalry or terror?

As the Uttar Pradesh police continues to quiz four persons in connection with the Agra blasts there are very few indications for now to suggest that it was an act of terror. Sources informed that it could be an act conducted due to personal rivalry.
However the police are not ruling out other possible angles to the attack and say that there are various other teams on the job as well. The ATS which is also conducting the probe says that other possibilities of small terror modules are being looked into but for the moment it appears unlikely.
A report that was sent out to the Home Ministry also suggested that it is too early to suggest that the blast was undertaken by a terrorist group. There is a motive of personal rivalry as per the preliminary investigations, the report also stated.
The FSL which has collected evidence is also looking into the material used for the blast. The police say it is not suprising to see such material such as IEDs being used since this part of UP has always been notorious for such activity.

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General alert sounded across the country

Moments after the blast at Agra a general alert has been sounded by the Intelligence Bureau. The police across the country have been advised not to let their guard down since terror groups are likely to be carrying out blasts in a specific pattern.
An alert was already in place after the Delhi blasts and the entire nation was on high alert.
The alert says that some elements could carry out attacks on low security areas and also places which are not on the radar. There is a pattern being noticed since the 13/7 blasts and some groups could take advantage of the volatile situation to strike at some places.

Jihad-from Kashmir to Kerala

The National Investigating Agency has claimed that it has almost cracked the Delhi blasts case. It is now ascertained that it was an operation planned in the Kishtwar region of Jammu and Kashmir.

However the big question is whether this case is that simple. The angle which both the NIA and the IB would be looking to probe now is whether this new network in Kashmir has a connection with other networks across the country.

The primary issue that has been noticed is that a lot of the funds that are being generated for terror related operations have stopped being generated by the Northern part of the country. There is a great deal of funding that can be witnessed from down South and of the 45 strong cases of money laundering for terror operations, nearly 25 are from South.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau say that it has been noticed that a large part of the money for operations in the Valley are coming in from states like Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. The Kashmir network is very heavily dependant on the funds from Kerala and what is worse is that it has become an extremely easy channel for terror operatives.

The interrogations that are being conducted into the Delhi blasts is expected to provide an answer to this and that would soon become a focal point of the investigations. A senior police official from Kerala confirms that there is a request from both the IB as well the NIA to provide more details about the networks in the state which are linked to Kashmir.  We have conducted our own investigations and have found on more than many ocassions a direct link between the state and the Valley.

The Kerala-Kashmir link was set up at the insistence of Ilyas Kashmiri who had a year back announced openly that he would train a lot of cadres from the Southern state. The statement was just an indication about the role Kashmiri who is also the HuJI boss wanted the cadres from Kerala to play. The ISI and also the HuJI understands the potential in Kerala for two reasons. The first one of course is that it is a hub for Hawala transactions and a lot of that money can be transferred to terror operations. Secondly there is a volatile environment in this state and it is easier to pick up recruits. There is also another aspect to this entire saga and that is there are several youth who do not require any sort of motivation from external forces. There are several self motivated youth who feel strongly about several issues and are ready to carry out operations on their own.

Today when one looks at the terror networks in Kerala it becomes clear that there is no proper organization and command. What the HuJI is trying to do is to bring them all under one forum so that a formidable force is prepared.

Two years back there was an interesting incident emerging out of Kerala which showed signs of the link to the Valley. During a gun battle in the Valley with hardcore terror cadres, it was found that seven of them were from Kerala. This was probably for the first time that Indians were engaged in a fidayeen battle in the Valley and this made the entire country sit up and take notice. During the probe it was also found that several 100 youth from Kerala had gone missing and could have possibly been taken in by Jihadist groups fighting in Kashmir.

As the investigations progressed there were more leads that emerged and a probe which was also conducted by the Bangalore police also led to the arrest of a key operative by the name Sarfaraz Nawaz. This person was brought in from Muscat and it was found that he was a key operative who reported to a module in Kerala. During the probe he also told his interrogators that there was a constant effort being made to set up a proper channel between Kerala and Kashmir.

Today when the investigations into the Delhi blasts are being conducted, the team feels that it should dig deeper into the Kerala network since it has a direct Kashmir connection. What they are tying to look into is whether a module from Kerala helped carry out this attack. They are also trying to find out how much of the funds sourced from Kerala for activities in the Valley were used for this blast. It would also be interesting for the investigators to find out if there is a dedicated channel in Kerala which is helping setting up a huge HuJI base in Kashmir.

The HuJI according to intelligence reports has been trying to make inroads in the Valley. Ever since the big boss Kashmiri made the statement regarding a fight in Kashmir, there has been a lot of effort on part of these cadres to set up a network. While it may have been tough for them to recruit cadres from other parts of the country, they did find it relatively easy to pick up cadres from Kerala.

For this the investigators would revisit the statements given by Nawaz and also T Nasir since these men have spoken about how they were trying to select cadres for operations in Kashmir. What becomes clear is that the HuJI has not only been looking to set up a proper base in Kashmir, but also create smaller groups so that it can carry out terror activities in other parts of the countries.

It needs to be curbed says an officer with the IB. The Kerala to Kashmir route is something that can turn out to be a big headache and it is very important to understand and crack this soon. This would also require a lot of help from countries such as Oman since a major part of the Kerala module which takes care of the funding is settled there. The Oman link the Saudi connection will all come into play during the investigation since investigators today believe that the Delhi blasts is just a pointer of things to come and it is important that it is curbed before it becomes a headache that none can cure.

Del blast probe-looking ahead into empty space

Who planted the bomb at the Delhi High Court. Investigators today say everyone is a suspect. The Indian Mujahideen, the Students Islamic Movement of India, the Harkat-ul-Jihadi- the role of all these outfits are being probed.

There is a lot that is at stake for the National Investigating Agency in particular which has taken the lead in probing this case. While one could say that the David Headely angle to the 26/11 probe was their biggest assignment till date, it could also be argued that most of the leads in that case were provided by the United States of America. However in the Delhi blasts case the NIA had to start from scratch and moreover they have to constantly deal with multiple agencies in order to carry on with this probe.

Today there are almost 500 police personnel looking into the Delhi blasts case. A source in the National Investigating Agency says that they are making a headway into the probe, but it is still too early to pin point as to who carried out the attack.

What has put the probe agencies on the back foot today is that they are still unable to find a motive behind the blast. The Indian Mujahideen, the Students Islamic Movement of India, the Harkat-ul-Jihadi- all these outfits are very capable of carrying out an attack, but the question is why would they do it? The Students Islamic Movement of India in particular may try its best to avoid a blast outside the judiciary since they are battling a case seeking a lifting of the ban. The Indian Mujahideen on the other hand has been trying to get back into the picture, but the fact is that they are really not up to it at the moment. Would they want the heat on them when they are trying to regroup is the question that is being asked. The HuJI on the other hand does appear to have a motive and have announced in a big way their India operations. However would they carry out an attack on a smaller scale and increase the heat on them is also another question.

Soures both in the NIA as well as the Intelligence Bureau are of the opinion that not always is it necessary to look at a motive behind such attacks. At the moment how we see it is that is for sure a distraction tactic, but then again the question arises who would want to distract what. Hence these probe agencies are also looking into a political motive behind the blast, because the fact remains that a lot of other contreversies surrounding various politicians had been diverted after the Delhi blasts. Right from the Varanasi blast there has been a pattern and such attacks have always managed to divert a crisis for a bit of time. We are not saying that this could be the angle to it, but it is also being explored the investigation team points out.

A source in the IB says that it would be too early and unfair to say that the police are groping in the dark. It does take time for them to find clues and they are studying the pattern since the Varanasi blast. The fact however remains that the Varanasi blasts, the 13/7 attack and now the Delhi blasts continue to be unsolved mysteries. While conducting the investigations into all these three attacks what they have realized is that the modules of terror are asleep at the moment. There is no sign to show that any of these modules had been activated during these periods. Locally the police have not been able to find a direct link into any of these blasts. There have just been a spate of arrests till date on suspicion, but without exaggerating facts nothing really has come out from any of these arrests.

While no leads seem to appear there is also a lot of confusion till date regarding the substances used in the Delhi bomb. The forensic teams have given contradicting versions of the subtances and the fact is that they are finding it hard to trace the PETN which was initially suspected to be used in the bomb. However the the investigating team have sent it for another round of sampling since it is hard to trace PETN which takes a plastic form when used in a bomb. Investigating agencies meanwhile are working on the possible leads they could get from whatever material has been found in the bomb. They are trying to track the sourcing of the PETN and also the ammonium nitrate that has been used in the bomb.

The other aspect that is being studied is the finances used for this blast. Overall it appears that it was an operation which could not have cost more than Rs 30000. Take for instance the Bangalore serial blasts which had over 9 bombs in it. In the words of the prime accused T Nasir this entire operation cost him just Rs 40000. Hence this is not big money and could have been sourced locally also, the police believe.

Investigating agencies are also looking for some leads outside the country and are in touch with their counterparts especially in the Gulf. Investigators believe that some of the operatives of both the SIMI and the IM are holed up in these countries. Right from the days of the Varanasi blasts they have been trying to track IM operative Assadullah Akthar, but have not got much success. There is also a look out notice against 13 other IM operatives who have gone missing in the past two years.

In addition to this the Indian IB is in touch with the various other intelligence agencies of both the US and also Russia and are trying to pick up leads on whether there was any movement of terrorists internationally in connection with this blast.

Security experts say that it is essential that these series of blasts right from Varanasi are solved since it is important for the security of the nation. A senior police official from Maharashtra pointed out that the intelligence gathering on the ground is very weak. It is not sufficient to look for larger leads. The movement is taking place on the ground and the fact that no suspicious movement had been reported goes on to show that the sources on the ground are not strong enough. There is no clarity at all today and this gives terror outfits an advantage today and this would tempt them to carry out more such attacks since they realize that the system is weak. There is a need for collective intelligence and the sharing of the same between states apart from strenghthening local intelligence in order to curb such activities, the official also pointed out.

The General Murad mystery

13/7 blast site-pic by

If one were to ask what the status report of the 13/7 investigation is then the clear answer is that the police are groping in the dark. The fact that a broken SIMI and its fringe elements have carried out this attack is one of the clearest lead in this case. Although this lead is clear, it also proves to be a big headache since people operating in smaller groups are always difficult to track.
During the course of the investigation which has involved the NIA, ATS and also the IB, some very interesting intercepts have been picked up while the officials were probing the case. These intercepts would go on to show that nothing much has really changed since 26/11 and the Pakistan’s ISI and army continue to be actively involved in training the Lashkar-e-Tayiba cadres.
While the 26/11 probe pointed towards the likes of Major Iqbal and the rest, today the name that is doing the rounds is that of a General who is known as M Murad. The intercepts by the IB would go on to show that this general is training Lashkar cadres in Pakistan and this without a doubt is a worrying sign. Intelligence agencies say that there is nothing to be shocked since this is a routie practise, but it is only telling picture of how important these terrorist groups continue to be for the ISI and the Pakistan army.
IB sources say that earlier there was a bit of confusion regarding the General, but today they feel he is the same man who when he was a major and also a colonel used to train the Lashkar cadres. In addition to this they have also managed to get the name of a Major Maqsood who also is actively training these cadres.
The intercepts go on to show that the training was largely about intelligence gathering and the cadres who were being trained were newer recruits. It does not say too clearly about the operation being planned and the IB says that these routine training excercises do go on even when there is no specific plan in place.
There is of course a general advisory in the terror circles to stay quiet for the time being due to too much heat, but the fact is that the terror camps continue to be operational in almost all parts of Pakistan. The training camps are today divided into various camps. With the Lashkar nurturing its international plans there are dedicated camps for this purpose. Then of course there are those common camps for operations in Kashmir and the rest of India, sources also point out.
The name of Murad is bound to come up very often in the days to come since he has emerged as one of the key persons in the Lashkar camps. This also brings us to a question as to what happened to Major Iqbal and the rest. They have been kept off the radar and they will never ever be used for such an operation in the future, the IB points out. Pakistan will continue to deny their existence even if the voice samples would prove otherwise. With each operation, the ISI will spring up new names so that there is no trail whatsoever.
The name of Murad also springs up another interesting aspect to the 13/7 case. The police were a couple of days back looking for the involvement of the Pakistan’s ISI in this attack. It is an option that the police have kept open, the IB say. There is really nothing to show any positive link from Pakistan at the moment. However the options are being kept open and all angle are being probed according to the ATS.
The name of Murad has also sprung up another angle to the case and that is the money trail. The details on Murad go on to show that he has a close link with some of the operators in the Gulf and has in the past too facilitated the pumping in of funds for the activities of the Lashkar in Pakistan. Whether there is a hand of the big wigs in the Pakistan establishment is something that is not conclusive where the 13/7 attack is concerned. The IB says that this case like the Varanasi blasts is a tough one since it has not been a structured attack like the earlier ones and this leaves very little trail.

Ammonium nitrate-why the govt. can’t ban it?

A ban on Ammonium Nitrate is sought every time there is a blast in our country. For a couple of days journalists write about the need to ban ammonium nitrate and then the entire issue fizzles out.

The last blasts that rocked India was on July 13 2011 and there was ammonium nitrate found in the explosive. The government has said on various ocassions that it will ban ammonium nitrate, but the fact of the matter is that this substance is almost impossible to ban. The next question that comes to mind is a regulation of this substance. However if you go into the detail you could very clearly come to the conclusion that regulating the sale of this product is also a next to impossible affair.

Terrorists will continue to use Ammonium Nitrate only in the days to come for various reasons and the biggest one being the easy availability. Moreover ammonium nitrate gives an added advantage regarding an ionisation process since it breaks with very low voltage of electricity.

It is tough to put a number with regard to the quantity of ammonium nitrate that is being sold in the country. One could safely say that several thousand tonnes of ammonium nitrate is being purchased everyday.

The irony that the government faces today is whether to ban it completely or regulate the sale. It is next to impossible just to ban ammonium nitrate overnight. The entire farming community would suffer and a fact little known is that ammonium nitrate is very heavily used in small industries. The dye industry, ice candy factory which rely very heavily on this substance will come to a close if ammonium nitrate is used. As an official puts it, “for the incompetence of the security force, the bread and butter of a million people cannot be put at risk.

Following the last case in the month of July the government has once again started thinking about the action to be initiated in the case of ammonium nitrate. Currently they are looking for a proper inventory to check the sale of Ammonium Nitrate.

There have been a series of meetings at the highest levels regarding a ban and regulation of Ammonium Nitrate. On an average a factory would purchase 500 kilograms of Ammonium Nitrate and if half a kilogram does go missing then it is next to impossible to track it. To prepare an explosive a terrorist would need half a kilogram of Ammonium Nitrate and the procurement of this quantity is something that is next to impossible to be tracked. These factories or units which purchase ammonium nitrate do not put to use the entire quantity. One of the factory workers could steal half a kilo and it goes unnoticed. Secondly there could be a weighing error which again does not help in finding the trail and lastly there could be wastage during transport which again makes the issue tough.

The government could consider the following options if it is really serious about tackling the problem. Bring about a ban on ammonium nitrate but also find a substitute more importantly a non explosive one to cater to the industries which depend on it. The ionisation process is also something that could be looked into. Continue with the sale of ammonium nitrate but add a substance to ammonium nitrate which reduces the ionisation process completely so that it stops acting as an explosive. While this may not be a fool proof solution since a terrorist could work out a way to take out the substance preventing the ionisation, it would still mean that his job will be made a lot difficult and he could stop using this substance.

However what one must understand that banning a substance is not what will curb terrorism at the end of it. Terrorists are bound to look for other options to carry out subversive activities and more reliance ought to be given to human intelligence and constant monitoring in order to solve the real issue of terrorism.

A silent war!

Barring a terror attack on July 13, 2011 things have been relatively peaceful in India. Indian agencies are busy figuring out this menace which is now being caused by fringe groups. However the big question is what are the bigger groups such as the Lashkar-e-Tayiba doing during this period of lull and calm.

The biggest weapon which these groups have is their patience and Indian Intelligence Bureau officials say that while they are not carrying out terror attacks there is a lot of activity that such groups carry out. The war is always on, but it is different in nature. There is no doubt that they are planning larger attacks on the Indian soil, but in the meantime what they continue to do is circulate fake currency, smuggle arms and ammunition carry out recruitments and build up terror modules across the country.

Fake currency- The year 2010 alone has seen fake currency worth Rs 3200 crore in circulation while over all since the past ten years the amount is a stunning  Rs 12,00,000 crore. The notes continue to be under circulation and the Home Ministry says that every 5th note out every 1000 is fake today. The Lashkar which is the biggest beneficiary of this racket pumps in these notes through the Dawood Ibrahim network and it has now been established that the notes of very fine quality are being printed in Pakistan.

What has been worrying the Indian agencies is that the number of routes to smuggle in fake currency have increased and also the printing units in Pakistan too have gone up. Earlier the government owned printing press in Karachi was being used to print fake currency, but today the establishment feels that there is a need to increase the supply and hence have instructed their other state owned press at Quetta to do the same. This only means that the number of notes which will be in circulation especially in India will double and Indian agencies have a tough task ahead.

The earlier routes that were being used to pump in fake currency into India were through Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal. However now the reliance on countries such as Thailand and also Dubai have increased. In the future one would get to see this racket emerging more from these two countries since the heat on the operatives are lower compared to the ones operating from Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Moreover within India too there have been changes and fake currency that is pumped in through Dubai has been landing in Thiruvananthapuram and then circulated into other parts of the country. Hyderabad always continues to be a hub for such a racket, Indian agencies point out.

India claims that it is doing its bit to counter this menace in every possible way it can. The issues such as the sourcing of paper to print the notes from London continues to be a contentious issue. The Pakistani agencies have adopted the same route to source their papers which has made the entire exercise very difficult for Indian agencies. India will raise this issue with the Financial Action Task Force in the month of October since it has decided that it would need the help of the international community to fight this menace.

Arms and ammunition- While studying this aspect of terror it becomes extremely crucial to understand why the closure of the D Gang is very important to India. While there continues to be infiltration into India through the borders of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal the whole other problem that comes along with it is the smuggling of arms and ammunition. While these are the normal transit points, there is a chunk of this coming in from Thailand as well which has led agencies to believe that recruits of the D Gang have been aiding this menace. While these arms that have been smuggled in are not being used for terror activities, they continue to be in circulation in the market and are being supplied to gangs and the money being raised out of this is used to fund terrorism on a 70:30 basis.

Recruitments- This is one of the most important aspects for any terror organisation. With the Indian Mujahideen down in the dumps and their modules in re-grouping mode, Pakistan based outfits have had to rely largely on their independent networks to carry out a recruitment process. The Lashkar in particular has been looking more into their Kerala connections through the Gulf and are carrying out recruitments. There has also been an increase in activity in Hyderabad and the ongoing problems in the area have only helped these groups go about their job without being noticed. The entire focus of the police is on the agitation and this has given terror groups a safe path to go about their recruitment. When looking at this issue on a national level, the IB says that most of the activity has been down south when compared to the North which has slowed down in the area of recruitment. However these recruits would focus more on carrying on the fake currency trade and also bringing in more youth into the outfit. There have been no instances in the past couple of months to show that recruits have been sent outside the country to train. They are taking it slow deliberately to avoid the heat and they would try and ensure that nothing is done on a large scale.

Terror modules- Realistically speaking the lashkar alone has around 500 modules across the country. While the big bosses are headquartered at Pakistan, the Gulf modules have been put in charge of setting up terror modules in the country. The IB explains that the money is pumped in from the Gulf which lands up either in Andhra Pradesh or Kerala. This in turn is passed on to the recruits in these areas who carry it around the country and help set up modules. Most of the modules which are operated are not as active as they may have been a couple of years back. The IB says that this lack of activity cannot be misunderstood as them being down. These persons apart from increasing the number of modules continue to aide the circulation of fake currency and also the arms trade.