LeT angle being probed

Intelligence Bureau officials are not ruling out a Lashkar-e-Tayiba hand behind the attack. Sources in the IB said that while this blast bears the signature of the Indian Mujahideen, they could have very well got the help of the Lashkar to execute this attack.

The city is filled with several of their sleeper cells and some fringe elements of the IM continue to be active here, the IB says. While the IM locals could have worked out the logistics, material and financial support could have been provided by the modules of the Lashkar. However it is not necessary that the local Lashkar modules or the IM modules in the city could have executed the attack. We are examining the southern, UP and also the Delhi modules who could have carried out this attack, IB sources also add.

Both these outfits have been looking to carry out attacks in the city. There are many reasons for this. The main retailiation is because they believe that the Maharashtra ATS had played a primary role in busting a large part of the IM. Moreover the Lashkar too has a similar complaint since post 26/11 there have been many raids within the city and surrounding areas which have led their modules to be busted, the IB also adds.

The blasts appear to be carried out to send across a strong signal. There is the Indo-Pak talks also which one has to bear in mind. The country has witnessed similar incidents in the back drop of such talks and this one is no different, investigating agencies point out. The day has also been chosen carefully and we believe that they have been trying to make a statement since it incidentally happens to be the birthday of Ajmal Kasab. Although there is no major significance in the same, they do like to make their attacks memorable which again is true of the Indian Mujahideen which has brash operatives who like to throw open a challenge.

Blasts on Kasab’s birthday

July 13 incidentally is the birth date of Ajmal Kasab, the man convicted for the horrific 26/11 attack. The blasts today ironically occurred on the same date as his birthday and investigating agencies are also studying whether this blast was carried out to co incide with his birthday.

We cannot say anything about that said an investigating officer. It could be connected and terrorists are into the habit of carrying out attacks on such dates with an intention of sending out a message, an IB source said.

Kasab who is facing a death penalty was born on July 13 1987.

 

 

 

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Terror attack carefully planned

Investigators who are looking for leads into this case say that this was a planned attack and has been planned over a couple of months. The targets have been chosen carefully. Not only are these areas sensitive in nature, but they are crowded too thus making it a perfect spot for terrorists to strike.

Looking at the manner in which these blasts have been planned, it becomes clear that the intention of the terrorist group was not to create a scare, but to create major damage. It also becomes clear that the terrorist group had planned on carrying out an attack in a crowded place and have even chosen the evening time to carry out this attack.

Sources in the intelligence bureau say that the attack has been planned out and carefully executed. Groups such as the Indian Mujahideen have been waiting to carry out a strike and their fringe elements are still out on the run who could have executed this attack. We are picking up leads from the eye witnesses and it is still very early to come to any definitive conclusion regarding the same.

Serial blasts again

The serial blasts have been confirmed as terror attacks according to the Intelligence Bureau.  The Home Ministry while confirming the same has declared a red alert across the nation.

A team of the Intelligence Bureau which is examining the case says that it is too early to determine as to who is behind this blast. However we are examining the Indian Mujahideen angle, IB sources also add.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that 7 IEDs were used and the explosive device was wrapped in cloth bags and tiffin carriers. This bears the signature of the Indian Mujahideen, a member of the NIA who is also investigating the case says.

The entire nation has been put on high alert following this attack. These groups may try and trigger off similar blasts in other parts of the country and hence all police stations have been put on high alert, IB sources also add.

The HuJI re-grouping saga

The recent threat by the dreaded Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) to bomb the Pakistan embassy in New Delhi is a pointer that this outfit is becoming more brazen and wants to focus most of its activities in India.

With the Lashkar-e-Tayiba taking a back seat where India operations are concerned for the time being, it looks like this dreaded outfit HuJI which operates primarily out of Bangladesh is planning on taking centre stage.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau say that HuJI has always been looking to dominate in India. The original plan by the ISI was to keep India on tenter hooks from both sides ie Pakistan and Bangladesh. While the Pakistan border was to be controlled by cadres of the Lashkar, the border along Bangladesh was always considered to be the domain of the HuJI.

A dossier prepared by the Indian Intelligence Bureau goes on to show that there has been an increased amount of activity where HuJI is concerned. The recruitment is at an all time high and records would show that at least 150 youth from West Bengal have gone missing. Investigations have gone on to show that these youth were picked up by the cadres of HuJI and are being trained to launch operations against India.

However an interesting point that Intelligence agencies make is that the kind of terror that HuJI is looking to launch would be different in nature. They are looking for abductions of high profile individuals so that they can hold the state to ransom.

HuJI is known to specialize in this field and they would using their knowledge in this regard on the Indian soil as well. This would solve two issues for this terrorist outfit. One they would try and raise money through such abductions and secondly they will ensure that the state is held to a ransom through such activity.

The growing ties between India and Bangladesh have put the brakes on this outfit and both countries have agreed to jointly counter the menace of this outfit. HuJI relied on the counterfeit notes racket to a large extent like all other terror outfits. However with the relations with two countries growing stronger the brakes have been applied on raising money to a large extent.

The IB says that HuJI would surely try and focus on carrying out terror attacks. However first on their agenda would be to try and raise funds for such attacks. They have been offering lucrative packages to their cadres.

They have decided to go about their India operations in a systematic manner. First and foremost they would raise funds through abductions and later use the same funds to carry out terror strikes. They have even started to offer their cadres attractive packages and the families of the suicide bombers are being offered anything between Rs 20 and Rs 25 lakh, the IB says.

The strongest base for the HuJI in India had always been Hyderabad and this was set up by Shahid Bilal who was two years back killed in an encounter at Pakistan. The fall of Bilal and the police action in Hyderabad had put this outfit completely on the back foot. However today they are trying to make a come back and using all of their resources to ensure that they do successfully. They have appointed cadres mostly from West Bengal to set up sleeper cells and each one is being offered Rs 10,000 per month. All this information that has been picked up based on intercepts by the IB also suggest that these sleeper cells would be set up first in the Nothern part of India before they move down South.

There are already two control centres that have been set up in Bangladesh exclusively to monitor the operations in India. These centres have been set up to train the youth who have been picked up from India and once their training is complete they are sent back to carry on with their work.

Following a Home Ministry alert regarding these developments, security agencies have already started to monitor the youth who have returned to India from Bangladesh. The alert is high the IB says and all police stations from across the country have been alerted regarding these developments. Security agencies also warn that action needs to be taken swiftly. If one looks at the manner in which the HuJI is going about its work, it becomes clear that the outfit means business and is going out of its way to strengthen its base in India which it had lost 3 years ago.

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Will terrorists target temples for wealth?

Will the revelation that Rs 90,000 crore lies at the Sri Padnamanabhaswamy temple in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala given birth to more Ghaznis and Ghoris? History would show at that point of time these emperors looted temples since they were cash rich.

Now it has been pointed out by a couple of experts that making public such large amounts of wealth stashed away in temples would only attract terrorists. While this is one view, the Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing says that terrorists would attack temples not with an intention of taking away its wealth but only to create a social divide.

Among all the targets that are in place in India, intelligence agencies still rate places of religious worship high on the list. There have been many instances in the past to show that temples are terror targets and the Akshardham and Varanasi attacks are only proof of that. In addition to this the revealations by David Headley also reveal that he had surveyed a couple of temples which the Lashkar-e-Tayiba wanted to attack.

The question now is whether terrorists would attack places of religious worship for the money stashed in there or would it be to create a divide in society. C D Sahay, former chief of the Research and Analysis Wing says, “ I don’t think money would be criteria for terrorists in such cases. Temples are very high on the radar of these terrorist groups and every second ploy of theirs would involve a place of religious worship in it.”

I know that some people are claiming that revealing such wealth could attract terrorist groups. Although we need to be careful, I think it would be a bit far fetched to say that terrorist groups would try to do away with the money in our temples. Research and the pattern with which these groups have been working have shown that their intention is more to create a religious divide and hence they chose to attack temples. They can also stage an attack to create havoc and this again would be on the context of creating a religious divide and not to escape with the wealth. It would be very difficult for them to do so.

Another point I would make over here is which terrorist group today is short of cash? They have enough and more and once they are in the limelight the funds continue to pour in. Take for instance the London blasts and it has been revealed that the attack was carried out with 7000 pounds. This is not big money for these terrorist organizations and they can arrange this in no time. I would not walk that far to say that terrorist groups would attack temples for the money, but their one and only goal would be to cause destruction and a divide.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau point out that guarding of temples is extremely difficult for security agencies. Devotees throng these places in large numbers and find it to be irritating to be frisked and checked at all times. A majority of our temples have bad security due to this reason and this attracts terrorist groups as it makes it an easy target. Moreover we have seen in the past that there has been a religious divide once a place of worship is attacked and these terror groups thrive on such situations. There is a need for the managements of these places to come forward and understand the grave threat there is to these places. More often than not, they are not too cooperative where security measures are concerned which only makes the job of security agencies even more difficult.

Sahay adds that terrorist groups have never believed in religious sanctity. However more importantly it is for the management to realize the importance of safeguarding the wealth which is national treasure. When this news regarding the finding of wealth came out, it worried me a great deal. The money is lying dead and this is a national wastage. I am not saying that this money should be taken out and used right away. It is all contributed by the kings and instead the trust would do well to create assets. The artefacts that have been found should be put out on display in order to display our national heritage so that people would get a better idea of what our civilization would be. Our temples not only represent our religion but also our national heritage.

While terror threats to the temples in Indian continue to loom large the biggest issue that we continue to face is that of bad security. Take the case when an intelligence alert was put out regarding the Madurai Meenakshi temple in Tamil Nadu. The security agencies found it extremely difficult to beef up security since the department for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments was not too forthcoming and providing details regarding the security. Security experts point out this aspect and say that there is a tussle on since the department believes that it would cause a problem for the devotees who come to temples to worship and they would not want a security guard standing in between them and God.

@Kerala, 20k crore is annual remittance through Hawala

The official figure so far as the annual remittance through hawala channels into Kerala is Rs 20000 crore. This figure which is available with the Union Home Ministry tells us the story of this state which has become a hub for extremists.

Today the focus of every possible national agency probing terrorism related cases is focused on Kerala and what one gets to understand is that the situation is going from bad to worse. The factors for such extremism are many. The communally charged up feelings in the state and also the fact that this state is almost a corridor between India and the Gulf.
The hawala remittance into this state is the highest when compared to any other state in India. There is a large population from Kerala which lives in the Gulf and remitting money back home had always been a big worry for these persons. They then started to adopt to the hawala module which helped them transfer large sums of money with ease. Now it is a known fact that terrorists have a big role to play in hawala transactions and hence taking advantage of the situation, they began pumping in their money too. The Kerala government was in the know of money being sent in through hawala channels, but what they did not bother to check was that terrorists too were pumping in money using the same channels and today the problem is immense that they are finding it difficult to clean up.
The National Investigating Agency which has its eyes on this state has also found that large sums of money which has been pumped in from the Gulf had been used to execute the blasts at Delhi, Bangalore and also at Ahmedabad.
The biggest worry for any terrorist group is the finances and with this in place, it became easy for these groups to go about the other jobs. The Indian Intelligence Bureau says that a couple of years back, Kerala was only a corridor to terror in the South. However today the problem is immense and it is without a doubt the main breeding centre for such extremist groups in the country.
Sources say that for the ISI it was easy to set up terror camps in this state. The political will was lacking and elections were far more important compared to national security. Due to politics smaller groups were allowed to grow and a main fighting plank during the elections became communal rioting. This helped such forces to grow and before anyone realised that they had set up base comfortably.


While it was obvious that the nature of this state was changing gradually the first big information regarding the reach of the Kerala cadre was known only when a cell phone belonging to a person by the name Umar was traced. Umar was an operative of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba operating in Kashmir and investigations went on to show that he was from Kannur. Subsequently more news trickled in and it was found that three more persons from Kerala were killed in an encounter in Kashmir. This raised alarm bells among the security agencies who realised that it was probably for the first time that Indian cadres were used in the battle at Kashmir and ironically they were all picked up from Kerala. However of the men, Jabbar who was picked up the police for training stated that he thought they were being taken for training in Islam. I was taken aback when they told me my training would be with arms. In fact we were told if we did not take up arms then our families would be harmed.
According to IB reports, the ISI has set up strong modules of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in the Gulf. The Oman module is also very strong and the fact is that these modules are directly connected to the modules in Kerala. In fact when the ISI started to set up Gulf modules, it initially had a lot of youth from Uttar Pradesh. However gradually the cadres from UP were being replaced with those from Kerala. These youth were in charge of sending across funds and also pulling out youth from Kerala and sending them for training again using the Gulf route. For the ISI, the Gulf module is one of the strongest today and what works against India is that the Gulf and the Kerala are directly connected. In fact it appears as though modules in the Gulf were formed keeping Kerala in mind.
Although the exact number of Lashkar modules in Kerala are not known, sources say that they could be anything between 50 to 100. The number of sleeper cells is almost double this number they also point out. Most of the cadres in these modules undertake a dual job. During the elections they become party workers and often create the necessary ruckus for politicians. This ensures that they get the immunity which helps them go underground and go about their real job.
In this context it would be pertinent to note the role played by T Nasir, an accused in the Bangalore blasts case. He had become the perfect link between the modules in Kerala and the ISI. He was a part of the Students Islamic Movement of India before it was banned. He then moved out of Kerala and worked in Muscat and Dubai before coming in contact with agents of the ISI. He was asked to recruit youth back in Kerala for terror operations which he did on his return to Kerala.
The likes of Nazir are trained in this job and they constantly keep a watch for youth who have issues abroad. They pick and chose youth with visa or job problems and offer help. While doing so they take them into their fold and convince them to take the extremist route. Once they manage to convince them they are either sent to Pakistan or Bangladesh for training.
Over the past one year there has been a slight change in the manner in which they have been operating. The trips to Pakistan or Bangladesh for the newer recruits are proving to be dangerous for these groups and hence they have decided to set up dedicated training camps in Kerala itself.
Recently the Kerala police seized compact discs and transcripts which had details on the Taliban styled military training. This was just a tip of the ice berg and further investigations led the police to find that there were many training camps in Kerala which followed the Taliban style of training. Such training in Kerala takes place in secluded areas of the state and it is clear that these youth who undergo such training are being prepared for bigger roles.
The expectation from the Kerala modules is that they build up a strong force which can carry out attacks in India. A thorough home bred outfit is what they are looking for following the fall of the Indian Mujahideen. In addition to this they are also expected to provide cadres for the battle in Kashmir and very shortly they would be asked to assist terror groups fighting in Pakistan and Afghanistan as well.
For the Indian agencies the primary worry is however the growth of the home bred extremist groups which they will need to scuttle as soon as possible. Prior to Kerala, the main modules were in Uttar Pradesh, but today Kerala is the clear choice. It takes every investigating agency a while to understand the pattern that is being followed in each state. They managed to overcome the problem in Uttar Pradesh and doing the same in Kerala will not be an issue provided there is political will.
The agencies from across the country also push the case regarding a state more aggressively in case of a terror strike. Kerala has not witnessed a major strike so far and this is a deliberate ploy as per security agencies. Carrying out a strike on a large scale only gathers a lot of attention and this would ensure a complete crackdown. Hence these groups feel that it would be better to go about their acticvities quietly and breed terror for the rest of India. Take the case of Hyderabad which was a major hub for such groups. Today it is relatively quiet due to the crack down by the police and this was largely because of the back to back terror strikes in the city.
The IB says that their investigations do not show one particular group gaining in this state. A lot of splinter groups and also cadres of the IM and the rest have all come together and are setting up their base in Kerala. Over the past year there has also been a lot of movement from UP as well. Kerala does not only provide a safe hiding ground, but also a route to escape into the Gulf once the heat is on.

ISI spying tactics has Indian agencies worried

There is a virtual war that is being fought on our borders. Despite curbs and beefed up security along the border, the ISI continues to dish out information about India.

Sources in the Intelligence Bureau say that they have launched a major operation against collection of such information. It has come to light that those Indian’s who cross over into Pakistan legally are being lured into becoming spies and work for Pakistan agencies. Many Indians do cross over into Pakistan in order to meet their relatives or on some other work. In a year there are at least 1000 such cases and more often than not the ISI does manage to lure a considerable number of them into becoming spies for them.

Every person crossing into Pakistan has to go through certain routine checks at a police station on the border. Today there are 12 police stations on the India-Pakistan border and these places comprise officials of the ISI who normally do the questioning. After a thorough background check is conducted and permission granted to enter into their country, an offer is made.

The IB says that the ISI deals with each person in a different manner. In most of the cases that we have dealt with, the offers that are made are either money, women, drugs or in some cases diplomatic immunity. While the ISI does live up all of these promises that have been made, the one with the diplomatic immunity is something that they never live up to. When they speak about diplomatic immunity, they mean easy access into their country since most of these people cross over in connection with some business or to even meet their relatives.

Once these persons bite the bait, their job of spying commences once they return to India. While the information that is being sought is normally general in nature on some occasions it is specific. Normally the reliance on the internet for spy agencies is very minimal and they would prefer having first hand information. The IB says that in the cases that they have come across so far, the information has been regarding government policy, information relating to certain places, statements by politicians. However some cases are serious where the ISI has asked for specific details of important places along with pictures and other logistics.

The ISI has managed to place in India spies from across the country. These persons go out of the country on a valid visa but come back as spies for the ISI. Earlier the survelliance was not all that high, but off late the checks have increased two fold. As a counter measure, Indian agencies are keeping a watch on each and every person who comes back from Pakistan into India, the IB also added. Basically what the ISI is looking for is a very strong presence of their spies who are legitimate Indian citizens and this is just one of the steps forward in setting up the concept of Home Grown Jihad which they have tried in the past with the SIMI or the Indian Mujahideen.

The most recent case was that of Ismail Khan from Karanpur. His interrogation by the IB managed to give the Indian agencies a lot of information regarding this modus operandi. IB personnel who questioned this man said that Khan had a lot of revealing information regarding this concept which in turn has helped us keep a closer tab on such operations.

Khan during his interrogation had told the IB that there are several police stations which they are taken to before they can actually go about their work. There are ISI officials in these centres known as Questioning Centres who speak with people from India.

In the case of Khan he had gone to Pakistan to meet with his relatives. At one of these centres, the relatives were brought in to convince Khan to take up this assignment. However on refusing this he was taken to a chamber where he spoke directly to an ISI official who after one round of trying to convincing him resorted to threat tactics. Khan says that they do not get much of a choice when they reject the offer. Moreover the question of agreeing and then returning to India and not following orders also does not arise since they have our relatives under their control.

Upon convincing such persons the ISI does impart training on how information is supposed to be collected and also sent. They are then asked to buy a computer through which the information will need to be sent out. In addition to this they are also given sim cards and mobile phones to stay in touch. All this and of course a grand sum of money as a reward, the IB says.

This may look like a minor operation. However the ISI is aiming to achieve a major goal and that it is to have as many spies in India. Not only will they be used for day to day operations, but their utility could come into play during a major operation as well. This saves the ISI the trouble of personally sending someone in from Pakistan to carry out a recee when they can easily access information from existing persons. The IB says that as on today there could be easily around 5000 such persons across the country working for the ISI. This is an exercise that we would need to conduct along with the support of various other agencies. We are looking for the records of persons who have visited Pakistan and based on this information we are keeping tabs on such persons, the IB also added.

Road ahead for Google’s Street View

The Bangalore police have made it clear that there shall be no collection of images by Google Inc for its street view services. Home Minister of Karnataka, R Ashok too has dashed off a letter to the Union Government now requesting it not to permit Google to go ahead with this service.

Google has the street view service in 27 countries. However this service which allows a user to explore a neighbourhood through street level images is not available in India as yet. While Google faces this problem in Bangalore, the issue may be similar for this company across the country too. The reports by the Intelligence Bureau are not in favour of this service since they believe that it will only help terrorists access crucial information with more ease.

Post 26/11 a lot changed in terms of India’s security structure. The men who scouted targets had relied heavily on google maps to locate their targets. The IB says that although such services are not the only thing that terrorists rely upon, it still gives them a fair idea of what targets should be attacked. The routes are picked up with the help of these services based on which they sent their men to scout targets for further details.

Although Google has said that it would address the concerns the road ahead looks tough. Not only has Karnataka now said no to this service, but the Union Home Ministry too does not seem optimistic about this service at the moment. We want to minimise every luxury that terrorists may have, said a source in that department and unless we are sure that this service will not pose any security risk, permission cannot be granted, they also added.

However the Bangalore police has made it clear that this service will only spell disaster. The police also sent out a detailed report to the state Home Minister stating that permission should be granted for this service.

The problem began last week when Google with its fleet of vehicles began shooting pictures of streets in Bangalore. The police came into the picture and questioned them about the same. According to the Bangalore police, they were told that they had permission from the Commissioner to do so. However when the matter was brought before the commissioner, he said that they had only applied for permission and it had not been granted as yet. The police say that there is a difference between getting permission and seeking it. The vehicle were then seized.

The matter was then taken before the Home Minister, R Ashok who immediately sought a report from the police regarding the same. The police in its report has made it clear that Bangalore is very high on the terror target. Moreover it is home to several important installations such as the DRDO, IISC, ISRO among others. The fact that terrorists will look to target an IT city can also not be ruled out, the police also said in their report. Hence it is important that the Home Minister does not accord permission to Google, the report further stated.

To make matters worse for Google, some members of the Bharatiya Janata Party too submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister. They too cited the same reasons in their memorandum. Further they have said that such mapping has only facilitated terrorists to unleash their evil designs and it would be suicidal to allow such a service especially in Bangalore which is high on the terror radar.

The Home Minister has taken into account these reports and has written to the Union Government not to accord permission for such services.

Sources say that this battle between the Indian Government and Google is not expected to get over soon. First the issue of privacy was raised by the Indian officials. This included filming of car registrations numbers etc. However google has assured that it would blur out these images and hence the issue of privacy would not crop up.

However the bigger point that India has been raising is that of a security risk. The major installations across the country will be available on the finger tips of the terrorist groups and this can create a problem. The access to any target is one of the crucial aspects to any terror strike and since this service will provide details about key installations too, it becomes important to be watchful while granting permission, sources in the IB say.

India is no stranger to terror strikes. In fact it is one of the worst affected in the world. The 26/11 attack only showed all of us the sophistication with which the attack was carried out and how the terrorists had made use of technology to their advantage. The handlers of these terrorists especially David Headley had picked out targets from the maps on the internet and provided the required information. This reduces the job of a person considerably since these maps after being studied by him gives him a sense of familiarity when he embarks upon his mission collecting further information, sources also added.

Google’s Street View services shows a user everything right from a small hotel to a building and viewing angle is 360 degree. The cameras that are mounted on the vehicle take photographs continously and they are stitched together for a 360 degree view.

At the launch product head of Google India had said that if you were going to book an hotel room and it claims to be near the beach you can check out the hotel and check whether it’s actually true.

On the security concerns he had said that they were taking images which are publicly available.We are not doing is going into a specific installation and taking private pictures and we are working with the authorities so if there are certain locations they don’t want us to be there we won’t go there. We blur out everyone’s faces, and also the license plate data, he had also said.

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Is reading the Quran a SIMI activity?

The police say that the activities of the Students Islamic Movement of India has started and this is a worrying sign.The SIMI on the other says if reading the Quran or performing Namaz is considered to be activity, then there is very little to say since every Muslim as long as he is alive will continue to do this (perform Namaz and read the Quran).
Even as the legal battle to lift the ban on SIMI continues to be fought in the Supreme Court of India, the Madhya Pradesh police made a crucial arrest at the Kochi airport a couple of days. The man arrested was
Sainudeen Sainulabudeen, former president of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.The police claimed that he was being picked up in connection with a case at Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. His questioning will be crucial for the investigating agencies since they will not only look into the existing case on hand, but will also try and find out about the future plans of the SIMI which was banned over a decade back.
However security agencies are reading more into this case and say that the fact that he was arrested in a land which is the strong hold of SIMI is an interesting development. While this is the claim by the security agencies, Dr Shahid Badr Falahi the president of the SIMI at the time of the ban says that this is nothing but a build up for February 2012 when the ban on SIMI has to be re-imposed.
Although several persons in the SIMI state that all this is stage managed to build a case to re-impose the ban, the police say that there are many radicals within the outfit who feel that they should revamp and carry out strikes.
The activities of some of these cadres is still very much on and the point of revamp will be Kerala since they do enjoy a lot of moral support over there. They have deliberately moved out of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh their strong holds since the heat is too high over there. Kerala was a better option for them since there is not only political support for them, but many parts of this state especially, Malapuram, Nadapuram in Kannur and
the Vizhinjam and Poovar areas in Tiruvananthapuram are communally sensitive.
Over the past couple of months Intelligence Bureau inputs suggest that some cadres of the SIMI are becoming aggressive. They have been in touch with several elements sponsored by the ISI in a bid to revamp. The ISI has been missing a dedicated Indian wing to carry out terror strikes on Indian soil. They did manage to rope in some cadres of the SIMI for this purpose and did manage a lot of success at first. However following the ban, a lot of the cadres went underground and several others arrested. This led to the formation of the Indian Mujahideen which did show all of us its capabilities when it carried out a series of attacks across the country. The IB says that the re-vamp of either the SIMI or the IM will be under an entirely new name and this is largely done to confuse investigators.
However Dr Falahi considers all this as nonsense. We were expecting an arrest to take place and our doubts have been clarified. This is a trend that we have been witnessing since the past 5 years. The arrest of Sainudeen Sainulabudeen is nothing but an exercise to build up a case for the ban again next year. The police have decided that any member of the SIMI is nothing but an anti social. What activity are they talking about? If we read the Quran or perform Namaz, does that amount to acticvity? I sit down and speak with my friends and crack a couple of jokes and that becomes Jihadi activity? A Muslim is bound to perform Namaz or read the Quran. How does that become activity in police language? As long as Muslims are alive they will surely do these two things (read the Quran and perform Namaz).
The government will do everything it can to ensure that the ban continues. In any part of India if something wrong is done by a Muslim then they say he is a SIMI member.
Yes about this Safdar Nagori version to the SIMI is something that has been spoken about. I do feel that this is a creation of our security agencies. When I was the President and the day the ban was imposed, I was addressing a huge gathering. That is when the police came to arrest me and did so at the end of it. Nagori too was present at that meeting, but he escaped arrest. Since then he is considered to be a fugitive.
The hope for all us is very distant. The BJP banned us and this so called Secular Congress continued to act on the lie of the BJP. The ban keeps getting re-imposed and we continue to be banned despite we winning the case once before the Commission. Now we are back in the Supreme Court and the case is on. Well if at all we win, I do not know what the fate of SIMI would be.

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Samjautha & ors-NIA has much to do and undo

Samjautha Express- pic, dailybhaskar
There was one thing common where the Samjautha Express, Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts are concerned. All these three cases today as per the investigations are inter-linked and it is only a matter of time before the National Investigating Agency closes these cases.
The NIA has a dual job in all these cases now. Apart from having a lot to do they also have a lot to undo in all these cases. When one takes into account all these cases, at least 110 members from the Muslim community were arrested after being blamed for these attacks. While many of the accused in the Mecca Masjid blasts were let off by the court after investigations took a different turn, the same exercise will have to be conducted in the other cases as well.

Slow on Ajmer and Hyderabad:
The NIA will however be bundled with problems before all these cases come to a close. They have managed to file the chargesheet in the Samjautha case and sources say that this was done first only because of the international ramifications it has. Moreover it was also a means of putting pressure on Pakistan to act in the 26/11 case.
Activists from Hyderabad and Ajmer however say that they wished the same speed was applied in these two cases as well. Lateef Mohammad Khan from Hyderabad says that the situation is the same in Ajmer and Hyderabad and there are a lot of people awaiting justice. Only once the NIA files its chargesheet in both these cases will the innocent youth be able to rest in peace. These activists say that the accused persons in all these cases are more or less the same. However they are hoping that the probe would pick up since at the moment it appears as though these two cases have come to a stand still.

Arif Qasmani:
While this is one part of the case the other question that is being asked by several persons is the UN report relating to the Samjautha case. The UN report dated 2009 still shows Arif Qasmani, a close Dawood Aide as the key plotters of the Samjautha express blasts. Qasmani a resident of Karachi who today facilitates the movement of Al Qaeda terrorists in Afghanistan is shown as one of the main accused in this case. It is said that he had raised funds through Dawood to fund this attack.
The Samjautha chargesheet however does make any mention of this which would mean that the Lashkar-e-Tayiba angle is not being looked into. So far as the UN report goes that would be changed once the trial is complete and the information sent across. However what investigators say is that Qasmani continues to be a major threat to India and what they have been able to ascertain is that he was the major player in the 2006 train blasts.

The Confession:
While the NIA was never easy thanks to the multiple angles in all these case, the job was made slightly easier with the confession of Swami Aseemanand. However today he has decided to withdraw the confession stating that it was done under duress. The NIA however points out that confessions are never the sole aspect of a chargesheet. The leads are picked up from the confession and independent investigations are conducted based on those leads. The withdrawal of the confession would not have any impact on the case. The links and the roles of these persons have been ascertained and now the battle is before the court. His confession also covered both the. Ajmer and Mecca Masjid blasts and this withdrawal will not have any impact on any of these cases, investigators also pointed out.

Indresh Kumar: This was one of the names that did the rounds all through the past few months. However Kumar has not been shown as an accused in the Samjautha chargesheet. No doubt that the NIA dug very deep into this particular angle of this case, but the fact was that the material which was found on him was not convincing enough to name him as an accused in the case. The investigators however point out that this is no indication that a clean chit has been given. It is just that more evidence needs to be brought forward in order to even name him in the case.
Moreover the case relating to Kumar is not a simple one. Considering the position that he holds any wrong move could have horrible political ramifications and hence the NIA would want to tread carefully on this aspect.
Indresh Kumar was once questioned by the CBI and is likely to be questioned by the NIA too. They would also be exploring the alleged rivalry between Colonel Purohith and Indresh Kumar in order to get further leads on this angle to the case.

The absconders:
While it is believed that the Ajmer, Samjautha and Mecca Masjid blasts were carried out by one module while the Malegaon blasts were staged by another, investigators would continue to see if the two are linked. Sunil Joshi, Ramji Kalsanghra and Sandeep Dange are the common persons in all these attacks. Swami Aseemanand too had spoken about Kalsanghra and Dange stating that they had bombed Malegaon.
While investigators feel that the big fish have been netted in all these cases, there are many aspects that remain incomplete thanks to the fact that two very crucial operatives are still missing. Dange and Kalsanghra are very crucial not only to the case but also to the busting of these modules. Take all the blasts mentioned above. These two were part of each and every meeting. They have taken part in meetings convened by Sadhvi Pragya Singh, Sunil Joshi and also Aseemanand. Moreover these were not ordinary foot soldiers and had ample information on the functioning of the entire module. The duo were extremely close to Sunil Joshi (now dead) who is considered to be the big boss of all these operations. In fact it was Joshi who wanted the Samjautha express blasts to be carried out as he wanted to eliminate the Pakistanis on the train. Not only will the duo provide information on all the operations and the manner in which the modules have been functioning, but they will also be able to help investigators find more clues on the Joshi murder, which again is suspected to be an insider job.