A year has gone by since the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, the key Indian Mujahideen man. His arrest was quickly followed up with the arrests of close aides Assadullah Akthar, Tehsin Akthar and Waqas Ahmed. In short the top four who ran the Indian Mujahideen were all rounded off and this led to a major vaccum in the outfit which carried out blasts at ease on Indian soil.
The question is how much has really changed since the arrest of these men? The Indian agencies without a doubt have done a spectacular job in breaking the Indian Mujahideen, but the question is, whether it is time to relax?
Yasin and his accomplices have revealed to the investigators that the Indian Mujahideen may be down following their arrests, but the organization will rise once again and there is a second rung of leadership which will emerge. The IM has in the past one year intentionally distanced itself from the ISI claiming that the Pakistan spy agency had a personal vedetta and was not adhering to a cause.
Officials say that the second rung leadership of the IM is very much active and with the likes of Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal and Abdus Subhan still out in the open anything could happen.
When Yasin Bhatkal, Tehsin Akthar, Waqas Ahmed and Assadullah Akthar are brought together for questioning, explosive details are bound to crop up. While the sinister designs of the Indian Mujahideen are largely known to the National Investigation Agency, there is a major worry about their new found love towards the Taliban and all the above mentioned operatives have said before the NIA that they wanted to fight at Afghanistan.
During the intense questioning of these operatives who constitute the top rung of the Indian Mujahideen, it was revealed that 30 of their men had left for Afhganistan to assist the Taliban. We do not want to work under the ISI anymore as they treat us like garbage. Instead we would like to fight for our brothers in Afghanistan against the Western forces as that makes more sense. For the Taliban too taking some amount of help from us made sense as they plan to expand their area of operation. We have told some leaders in the Taliban that in exchange for our support, we would like them to help us with operations in India. Attacking India with the support of the Taliban would be more deadly as they are a committed force and unlike the ISI do not have multiple agendas. There is just one agenda and that is to destroy any anti Islam nation, the IM operatives pointed out.
In the fifth and final part of this series, we take a look at how India’s most wanted Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal was picked up.
Yasin Bhatkal for a very long time was considered to be a created character and many felt that a man like this never existed. The Karnataka police were the first to spill out information on him when he was found building the Indian Mujahideen along with founder Riyaz Bhatkal. The first major operation that was attributed to Yasin Bhatkal was when he transported a truck load of ammonium nitrate from Udupi to several other parts of the country. He hailed from Bhatkal and then went to Dubai to assist his father when he came in contact with some operatives. From here his journey into the Indian Mujahideen began. Continue reading “Nabbing Yasin Bhatkal”
In the past six months, the Indian agencies have wrapped up the entire top rung of the Indian Mujahideen. While it started with the big arrests of Yasin Bhatkal and his aide Assadullah Akthar, the past one week saw two more major arrests in the form of Tehsin Akthar and Waqas Ahmed. This means the big four are behind bars and it is work ahead for the Indian Mujahideen to regroup.
There is often a question that comes to mind as to why there are never any arrests for a long time and then all of a sudden the entire top brass is behind bars in a matter of months and sometimes days. The arrests of Tehsin Akthar and Waqas Ahmed have often been termed as a political stunt by a pseudo class of society. However the fact is, that is not the way operations work.
Tehsin Akthar who was arrested a couple of days back by the Indian agencies has directly blamed the Students Islamic Movement of India for the Patna attack. It was a complete operation of the Students Islamic Movement of India and we are no longer directly linked with them, Tehsin told his interrogators.
He made some new revelations regarding the SIMI and said that a man by the name Hyder runs an important module in Bihar which undertook the Patna blasts which targeted Narendra Modi he said.
Our association with the SIMI is very less these days and they have enough and more independent modules which are functional he said. Narendra Modi and L K Advani are their primary targets and the last of the interactions I had with Hyder had revealed this.
Can the Indian Mujahideen still strike? The top four who ran the outfit since the year 2009 have all been arrested and this without a doubt has made the outfit weaker, but then is it the end?
Let us look back at the outfit from the time it made its debut in the year 2006-2007. The year 2006 witnessed a major blast at Varanasi. At that point in time everyone was hunting for clues and while the names of some operatives did crop up, none could say with certainty that it was the Indian Mujahideen which had struck. In fact none of were really aware of the existence of this outfit and the blame went to the Students Islamic Movement of India. The year 2007, November 23 saw six blasts that rocked Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad. Just when the police were all set to blame the SIMI, came an announcement which announced the birth of the Indian Mujahideen. The audacious announcement by a set of very determined operatives came with a tag line, “catch us if you can, we are the Indian Mujahideen.” The Indian Mujahideen had decided to take on the establishment and said that many innocent languishing in jail were not being represented properly in the courts and hence they decided to carry out an attack on the judiciary.
Tehsin Akthar, the man who today heads the Indian Mujahideen and also the one who planned and executed the Patna blasts has been detained by the Special team of the Delhi police. Sources say that he wad detained on the Nepal border and his arrest would be made public shortly.
Tehsin’s nabbing comes barely a day after the Delhi police picked up Waqas Ahmed the Pakistani national in the IM from Ajmer. Tehsin was the man who headed the IM following the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal. He is a big catch for the agencies and the fact that he hails from Samastipur only gives the agencies a chance to get more information on the Bihar modules of the IM.
From the chat transcripts of Yasin Bhatkal, it is very evident that they were missing most of their operatives who today are holed up in jail. Yasin Bhatkal in his communication with other operatives expresses his desire to launch a major programme through which they could ensure the release of Indian Mujahideen operatives locked up in jail. One such plan was about to be executed at the Sabarmati Jail in Gujarat and this major operation was to be carried out under the banner-Shaheed al Zarqawi Brigade.
Follow the naxals style of functioning, killing civilians is not waking the government up, it is time for big political assasinations- This is what one would get to see in the chat transcripts and the mail box of Yasin Bhatkal, the chief of the Indian Mujahideen.
Following the attack by the naxals in which several Congress leaders including V C Shukla were killed, there was a communication that came in from Pakistan to Yasin Bhatkal stating that it was time to target big leaders and police men in India. “if you want the establishment to take notice, then plan big and attack bigger,” read a message from Riyaz Bhatkal one of the founders of the Indian Mujahideen. There is no point in continously striking at civilians and killing a handful of people as these attacks have become too familiar and the government of India has clearly not taken much notice, the message further read.