Mistaken identity

‎The hunt for Amir Reza Khan turned out to be a damp squib. The Indian agencies who thought they had the Indian Mujahideen founder finally discovered that the trail had led up to a man by the name Khan, but he was another Accused in the American Consulate bombing.
Last week the Indian agencies had claimed that Khan had been arrested in Europe and they were confident that he was the man who had founded the IM. A team had left immediately with DNA samples and photographs, but it led up to the wrong man.
Now the agencies will try and bring back Khan who is also an accused in the American centre bombing. He was also part of the abduction of Shoe baron Roy Barman.
However fresh information obtained suggests that Amir Reza Khan is now holed up in Luxembourg. A fresh alert has been issued against him.

IM’s ISI man runs out of luck?

A search for a dreaded Indian Mujahideen terrorist which commenced 12 years back may end if the Indian agencies are able to ascertain the identity of Amir Reza Khna who has been detained in Europe.
Khan the founder of the IM is said to have been detained in Europe. An 8 member Indian team would leave for Europe armed with evidence to prove the identity of Khan. 
Khan is a much wanted operative and he has been on the radar of the FBI as well. He is an accused in the 2002 American centre bombing. He is also the same person who carried out the abduction of show baron from Kolkata, Partho Roy Barman. A part of the money that he got from the ransom was sent to Mohammad Ata, one of the men who carried out the 9/11 attack.

Continue reading “IM’s ISI man runs out of luck?”

Indian Mujahideen, Dubai facilitator arrested

The National Investigation Agency is all smiles as it readies to lay its hand on a very important Indian Mujahideen operative by the name Faizan Sultan who has been nabbed by the Dubai police.

Sultan who is 55 years old hails from Azamgarh and was part of the founding team of the Indian Mujahideen. Based on several inputs handed out to the Dubai police by the Research and Analysis Wing, Sultan was arrested after an operation that lasted over 5 years. Continue reading “Indian Mujahideen, Dubai facilitator arrested”

Jamaat-TMC, link under scanner

Jamaat-e-Islami_BangladeshThe porus Bangladesh border is what will be used to send in arms and ammunition to India by terrorist groups and this consignment would land in West Bengal from where terror would commence, is the latest note by the Intelligence Bureau. The same was conveyed to the Lok Sabha by Minister of State for Home, R P N Singh.
The talk of West Bengal-Bangladesh and terrorism has once again brought to focus, the allegations several leaders from the Trinamool Congress are facing regarding sheltering of Jammat-e-Islami and the Chaatra Shibir operatives. Continue reading “Jamaat-TMC, link under scanner”

IM- UP govt in denial mode?

tehseen1Monu who also goes by the alias, Tehsin Akthar is the most dangerous Indian terrorist according to the National Investigation Agency. He poses the greatest threat to the nation today says a report by the National Investigation Agency which had recently launched a massive manhunt for him.

The NIA further points out that Tehsin heads 13 modules in the country. Out of the 13 modules operational, 5 are from Azamgarh, 4 from Darabhanga, 1 from Ranchi, 1 from Hyderabad and 2 from Karnataka. This is a clear indicator about the operational areas of the Indian Mujahideen and it also goes on to show that the outfit no longer relies on its powerful Maharashtra module.

Continue reading “IM- UP govt in denial mode?”

IM in India- Aakas in Pakistan

Pic:From Left: Riyaz Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar
Pic:From Left: Riyaz Bhatkal, Yasin Bhatkal, Asadullah Akhtar

The Indian Mujahideen suffered a major blow a month back when its tallest leader, Yasin Bhatkal was arrested. Not only was Yasin arrested, but with him the agencies managed to take in Assadullah Akthar who too had become a major player in the outfit.

If the agencies are able to ascertain that it was the Indian Mujahideen that carried out the Patna blasts, then it would be interesting to see how the entire command structure of the outfit continues to work.

It would be safe to mention here that a majority of the brains behind this outfit are either in Pakistan and India. The think tanks are in Pakistan while the ground level operatives continue to hover around various states of India orchestrating horrific blasts.

Continue reading “IM in India- Aakas in Pakistan”

After Yasin who?

With the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, there is a vacancy in the Indian Mujahideen for the top post. Officials of the Indian Intelligence Bureau and the National Investigation Agency tell rediff.com that the post has fallen vacant, but it is just a matter of time before they fill it up.

Currently there are five men who are in contention for the top post of India’s most dreaded terrorist outfit, the Indian Mujahideen. They are Shahnawaz Alam, Muhammad Sajid Bada, Alamzeb Afridi, Fayaz Kagzai and Ariz Khan. All these operatives were in close contact with Yasin Bhatkal and have very often reached right up to the top cadres settled in Pakistan. Carrying on with the operations may not be a problem for them as they are well versed with the set up and also the modus operandi. An IB official told rediff.com that all these six men were part of the operational set up and hence were in the know of things. Moreover they always had one on one interactions with Yasin Bhatkal which itself shows that they were part of the inner ring of the Indian Mujahideen.

Continue reading “After Yasin who?”

Terror outsourcing, IM style

IMThe National Investigation Agency has its task cut out as with each blast that rocks the country, a new theory or a new module emerges. The chargesheet that the NIA recently filed paints a helpless picture as at the end of it the agency realises that the key men are still at large and appear to be operating with a lot of ease.

The NIA lists Yasin Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal, Mohsin Choudhary, Amir Reza Khan, Tahsin Akhtar, Dr. Shahnawaz Alam, Asadullah Akhtar, Ariz Khan, Md. Sajid, Md. Khalid and Mirza Shadab Beg as absconders. If one looks at the dossier on the Indian Mujahideen these are the men who have been controlling the outfit since the past many years.

Continue reading “Terror outsourcing, IM style”

IM dumps SIMI to avoid heat

Pic: http://www.facenfacts.com/

Former cadres of the Students Islamic Movement of India will be dumped and newer recruits will be chosen to join the Indian Mujahideen in a bid to resurrect the outfit and stay clear of any sort of police heat, the Delhi police have warned.
In the recently concluded meet of the state police chief’s held in New Delhi, the biggest point of discussion that came up was regarding the Indian Mujahideen. Although there were other issues that were discussed it was the role of this outfit which was taken up on priority.
It is without a doubt India’s deadliest outfits today, the police were told and each and every state in the country has been warned to keep a watch on the activities of the group since it has been trying to resurrect itself and carry out a spate of attacks.
Looking at the latest dossier on the Indian Mujahideen, it becomes clear that the outfit is not entirely operating on Indian soil. Earlier the entire leadership was in India and it was a full blown home grown outfit which relied heavily on former cadres of the SIMI. However today there is a shift in that pattern. The IM has deliberately decided to leave out former cadres of the SIMI and look for newer recruits. The police and the intelligence have a file on each former member of the SIMI and when one joins the group it becomes easier to target them. Hence they have decided to leave out the SIMI cadres and look for fresh faces.
The recent assassination plot that was busted by the Bangalore police would show that there is a pattern and there are many youth in the country who are troubled by the same old subject of atrocities. These youth are fresh faces and have had no connection with anyother group and the IM is looking for such persons to take into their fold, an officer from the Delhi police said.
The other significant development is that they have moved their command base out of India. Earlier it was entirely in India and there was one base in Pakistan controlled by Amir Reza Khan. However that too appears to have changed. They have been relying heavily on Middle Eastern countries. Morever there has also been substantial proof to show that the money is being routed through these countries and the pick up points of the IM have managed to circulate it around. There is no crunch of funds and they are aiming at bigger operations.
What is most worrying is that they are styling themselves exactly on the lines of a big international group. They were setting up a arms manufacturing unit in Delhi before it was busted. They are attempting similar operations in Maharashtra and Karnataka. They have a media cell, a charity unit, an extortion wing and also a very strong cyber cell. All these features are also seen in the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which is considered to be the mother unit of the Indian Mujahideen.
The Intelligence Bureau warns that the problematic areas are Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat. There are signs to show that there has been activity in these states. The funds are however dropping in at Kerala only from where it is distributed to other states. There are many so called charitable organisations especially in Kerala which have acted as a collection point for the IM.
An Intelligence Bureau official says that off late they have found that the largest number of cadres have been picked up from Pune and Mangalore. There have been a spate of low intensity blasts in the recent past and these are just signs of telling the agencies that they are very much around and also such sort of attacks does attract new cadres into their fold. The low intensity blasts are not something that one must take lightly. It does appear that the group has no expertise left in it and these are acts of desperation. It could well be a ploy to distract the agencies who are made to beleive that the outfit is no longer strong. In fact what the agencies have found is everytime there is a low intensity blast, the source of fundings have gone up and many newer recruits have joined the IM.
The other approach adopted by the IM is what has left the agencies wondering about their new modus operandi. They are relatively quiet after an operation and unlike the previous attacks of three years back they have not sent out mails or proudly proclaimed that they are behind it. These are all distraction tactics, the IB points out and at the moment they need to carry out attacks but also maintain a low key as they do not want any sort of heat on them.
The command structure of the IM remains pretty much the same. Riya and Yasin Bhatkal are beleieved to have escaped to the United Arab Emirates and are said to be guiding operations from there. Yasin Bhatkal who is now wanted by the police is still in India and is taking care of the operations over here. The likes of Abdus Subhan who was a tech genius in the IM is said to be in Pakistan, but his role in the IM is not very visible at the moment.
The IB says that the problem areas which have been mentioned above need to keep their guard very high. While Pune has always been a breeding ground for the IM, it is Mangalore which is worrying the agencies more. Karnataka has seen a couple of strange incidents in the past and the recent assasination plot is just a reminder of how the mindset in the state is changing. In the past too the IM has used Hubli in Karnataka as a launch pad for their operations. Moreover this state also houses Bhatkal, the home of Riyaz, Yasin and Iqbal and hence one could say that the state is no stranger to this group.

A ban at last- The IM story

“… Here we are back – the Mujahideen of India – the terrorists on the disbelievers – the radicals of Islam – after our triumphant and successful assault at Jaipur, once again calling you all, who disbelieve in Allah and His Messenger Muhammad to accept Islam and bear witness that there is none to be worshipped except Allah, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. Accept Islam and save yourselves.

This is just one of the mails that was sent out by the Indian Mujahideen prior to the deadly Gujarat blasts which wrecked havoc. Today the Indian Mujahideen, probably one of India’s deadliest home grown terror outfit has been banned and sanctions slapped by the United States of America. It has today been designated as a foreign terror outfit since it maintains close links with the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and other Pakistan based outfits.

The Indian Mujahideen was designed in a manner to carry out attacks on Indian soil and more importantly all its cadres were of Indian origin. It was a perfect ploy by the ISI to ensure that terror attacks continued unabated in India without a finger being pointed at Pakistan. Today Indian Intelligence agencies and other police wings welcome the decision by the US to designate the IM as a foreign terror outfit. It is an extremely important decision since today the top leadership of the IM is not in India. Riyaz Bhatkal, Yaseen Bhatkal, Amir Reza Khan(only one of Pakistan origin), Abdus Subhan, Assadullah Akthar and a few others are all out of the country. The Indian agencies were finding it extremely difficult to apprehend these persons thanks to international laws and today with the US slapping sanctions, the job becomes easier. There are a large number of the IM operatives who are settled in the Gulf and this move by the US would make it easier to bring them down to India. However a concern that would always remain is regarding some of the cadres who are at Pakistan and no international law is good enough when it comes to dealing with that country, IB officials point out.

The US move has also given Indian agencies another reason to smile about. Although the ISI had been claiming that the IM is an outfit born and brought up in India, the US order also makes it clear that this outfit has direct links with the Lashkar. This only vindicates India’s stand that any act of terror in India has the blessings of Pakistan based outfits.

The Inception: It is a well known fact that the Indian Mujahideen is just an off shoot of the banned Student’s Islamic Movement of India. In fact it could be termed as the radical SIMI. Almost the entire leadership were part of the SIMI at one point in time. Abdus Subhan himself was a magazine editor when he was in SIMI. Riyaz too was connected with the SIMI as an activist before he decided to become part of the core committee of the IM. The first time that the IM came to the limelight was during the court blasts at Uttar Pradesh in 2007. Although a mail was sent out claiming responsibility for the attacks, no one really took the IM seriously. However what followed was a spate of attacks later. The Jaipur bombings of 2008 is when the IM actually made its entry into the big world of terror. A chilling mail which was sent out after the attack is what made everyone sit up and take notice of this outfit.

After this there were a series of attacks and the infamous operation Bangalore Ahmedabad Delhi or Operation BAD was carried out. The mails that were sent out following those attacks only went to show the kind of arrogance that this group operated with. In fact the mails were more of a challenge and the mail during the Ahmedabad blasts was sent out five minutes prior to the blast. Some in the IB says that it is this arrogance which did them in finally and today they find themselves on a very weak footing.

Acts of terror:

Uttar Pradesh court blasts of 2007 November

Jaipur bombing of May 2008

Bangalore serial blasts on July 25 2008

Ahmedabad bombings on July 26 2008

Delhi bombings of 13 September 2008

Pune bombings of 2010

Jama Masjid Attack of 2010

Varanasi bombing of 2011

The 13/7 blasts (yet to be verified by the police)

Bombay serial blasts-2008

Top Leadership:

Amir Reza Khan of Pakistan who is the only non Indian in the outfit is considered to be the founder of the group. Originally from the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, he was a faithful commander and was later handed over the responsibility of setting up this outfit.

Safdar Nagori is another man associated with this outfit. Although he is credited with establishing the radical SIMI, it is said that larger plan hatched by him was to be part of the IM. However before the outfit could take shape he was arrested.

Riyaz Bhatkal who is still elusive was one of the key members of the organization. Hailing from the coastal Bhatkal town he is said to be one of the first members of the outfit. Today however there is a lurking doubt whether he is alive or not. Although some gangster had claimed to have eliminated him, there is absolutely no confirmation what so ever regarding his death.

Abdus Subhan who was originally a magazine editor in the SIMI became a central figure of the outfit. He is said to have set up the technical cell of the IM which eventually hacked into un secured wifi networks and sent out mails. Although those who knew him say way too much has been made out of his capabilities, Indian agencies believe that he is a crucial character in the outfit. Today Subhan is said to be hiding in Pakistan.

Mansoor Peerbhouy is today under arrest. He however could be credited with setting up the technical wing under the guidance of Subhan. A techie who worked with several reputed companies, he in fact after his arrest gave the police all the answers regarding the manner in which the IM mailing system worked.

The downfall:

Basically what the IM did was irk the police no end. All their mails and communication always took a dig at the police and the slogan was clear, “ catch us if you can.” The police did raise the bar and if one notices the manner in which the IM has been handled in the past two years one could say that they were hunted down. The real turning point was however the Batla House encounter. In a major battle between the Delhi police and some boys alleged to be IM members, it was the police who had the final say. However there is a great deal of controversy surrounding this encounter and many cry foul stating that it was fake. While this was the downfall of the IM some feel that this could be one of the biggest excuses on which they would plot their come back as well.

The restructuring:

This is something that has been worrying agencies no end. There has been a slump for the moment, but the fact that the top leadership is still elusive gives out worrying signals. The recruitment drive as of now is very slow. It is hard to say whether this is the correct picture or is it just a ploy to keep the heat at bay. Very slow movement has been witnessed especially in Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Delhi and also Pune. Although there is nothing significant the police are not taking chances. There are still several members who are out straying and they have been coming together and carrying out smaller attacks. In addition to this there are also several intercepts to show that the top leadership is very much in touch with groups such as the Lashkar and are planning a come back. It may not happen anytime soon, but they will surely make an attempt, a police officer said.