Roping in the relatives: Here is how Indian Mujahideen is reviving

tersimThere is no doubt that the cadres of the Indian Mujahideen are a depleted lot. While the outfit is down, security agencies say that the matter cannot be taken lightly as the IM would look to bounce back.

Currently the outfit is looking for people in a bid to revive itself. Sources in the Intelligence Bureau tell OneIndia that the group members are now talking to relatives in a bid to indoctrinate and recruit them. The job of bringing the IM back to life has been handed over to Mohsin Chaudhary, currently in Pakistan.

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IM techie arrested

‎The Delhi police which arrested Ejaz Shaikh from Western Uttar Pradesh has come a step closer to nabbing Mohsin Chaudhary a key man of the Indian Mujahideen who carried out the German Bakery blasts. 
Shaikh a techie by profession from Pune had gone missing in the month of February and is suspected to have joined the ranks of the IM, a charge that his parents denied.
Shaikh incidentally is the brother in law of Chaudhary who is said to have set up base in Pakistan following the German Bakery blasts. Chaudhary has been missing since 2008 and was hiding in Bangladesh. However he made a dramatic entry into India to carry out the German Bakery blasts and fled the country again.
Shaikh on the other hand was working for an IT firm in Pune. He is said to have got into a lot of debt and this could have been the factor that his brother in law used to lure him into the outfit. His parents however maintained that he had gone missing because he could not clear his debt and that their son was not a terrorist.

Is the IM dead now? NO

terpic1Can 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.

Continue reading “Is the IM dead now? NO”

The IM and its shadow outfits

When the serial blasts took place the National Investigating Agency was on a very important job. They were studying the modus operandi and the re-grouping of the dreaded Indian Mujahideen which is the focus of the investigation today.

Indian Intelligence Bureau officials had been issuing warnings that there is a lot of activity in the modules of the Indian Mujahideen. After the arrests there were a lot of fringe elements of this group who had spread out across the country. Most of them had been in touch with their senior members who have fanned out into countries such as the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.

However more important is that this outfit had been using various names to stage a come back. The IB says that the Bullet 313 is one such outfit while the other is the Jamat Ansarul Muslimeen. This is just another wing of the IM according to the IB and has been carrying out activities mainly in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and to a certain extent in Karnataka. This was styled very much on the lines of the Jammat-ud-Dawa/Lashkar-e-Tayiba combine, say officials. Investigators are now closely studying whether this front had any role to play in the recent serial blasts case. We are studying and investigating every possible angle to the case, an investigating officer said when asked about this new front of the IM.

What the IM was planning was to have a saner outfit covering for them so that the heat remained low. The IM basically never wanted the names of this group to come out in the limelight and wanted it to be a front to collect funds and also carry out recruitments on the sly.

However prior to these serial blasts, the NIA had gone deep into the network of the IM and it was at that time did the real picture of the JAM come to light. This front was active in the above mentioned states and activities were being carried out on a smaller scale. IM operatives realised that operating under the original name was deterring their activities and hence such a front had been launched. A major part of the IM did manage to regroup under this banner and to a large extent funds too were raised through this outfit.

The IM was looking for a major overhaul ever since its activities were curbed by the police forces across the country. The first thing they did in this direction was create a new name for their outfit and called it the Bullet 313 brigade. They then created JAM as a shadow organisation to throw the investigators off guard and to an extent it has worked out well for them if the police do manage to finally ascertain that the serial blasts was the handi work of the IM.

IB reports suggest that members of the JAM have been trying to active their network in other parts of the country and smaller modules for the IM had already been created in large parts of the country. A large part of this organisation includes old timers of the IM who have not been under the scrutiny of the police as yet. They have been throwing in newer members to carry forward their activities, an officer in the NIA said. However these men are under the direct control of the key IM operatives who are outside the country today and these include the likes of the Bhatkal brothers, Mohsin Chaudhary and Muddasir Yasin.

In the days to come there is bound to be a war between these terror groups and investigators since every time a case has been cracked a newer outfit emerges. This is a sort of a cat and mouse game says the IB who also add that the creation of the newer names are done with an intention of creating a diversion. However what has been ascertained that it would be the IM which would form the major threat to internal security and this would be the face of home grown Jihad. Newer outfits and names would emerge from the IM which would continue to be the feeder outfit for all new ventures in the future.

Security agencies also say that the very crucial IM operatives continue to be out of the radar and nabbing them becomes extremely crucial at the moment. Post these serial blasts the names that the police have put out are:

Iqbal Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal,, Ahmed Yasin, Mudassir Yasin alias Saif , Mujeeb, Alamzeb Afridi, Manzar Imamuddin Khan, Azhar, Yusuf, Sabir, Mohammad Shabir, Shafiq, Hussain Farhan, Samir Salim Khan, Wasim, Ariz Khan alias Junaid, Mirza Shahdab Baig, Sajid Bada, Shahnawaz Alam, Asadullah Akhtar, Abdus Subhan, Farhan and Mohsin Chaudhary. All these men have been abscoding since the heat on the IM had been turned on by the police across the country.

The manhunt begins

As the investigations into the serial blasts of 13/7 progress police teams have been dispatched to strongholds of the Indian Mujahideen in a bid to collect more information.

Police teams have been sent to sensitive areas such as Azamgarh and Bhatkal and routine questioning regarding some of the suspects will take place. A source in the agency said that although all angles to the case are open at the moment, the prime suspect continues to be the IM. There has been very heavy intelligence presence in these areas and the movements of several persons is being monitored. Close aides and family members of some of the suspect will be subject to routine questioning sources also added.

In addition to this the police would also question some of the key IM operatives who are languishing in jail in connection with the other blast cases in the country.

The special teams are already in touch with their counterparts in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka where several members of the IM are in custody. Although these suspects may not be holed up in any of these places, there is a good chance of some information coming out from the questioning and further investigation, sources also added.

Although the police had conducted a similar exercise after the Varanasi blasts, the emphasis would also be on finding out more regarding some key personnel who control this outfit. The whereabouts of the likes of Mohsin Chaudhary a resident of Hyderabad is also being tracked although it is believed that he has left the country. In addition to there would be a follow up on the Interpol notice against Asadullah Akhthar and Dr Shahnawaz who were last reported to be in the UAE.

The police will also look to question the likes of Salman alias Chotu who was a member of the IM. His interrogation report speaks a great deal about the outfit and how as on today the IM is relying heavily on the modules based in Pakistan and the UAE. Chotus IR speaks extensively about the manner in which the IM had been trying to regroup and looking at the serial blasts it becomes evident that this exercise of theirs had taken shape. Chotu tells his interrogators that the ISI was looking to revamp the IM since it felt the desperate need to have a home grown outfit in India. In addition to this the police had also noted that the IM was shifting a large part of its operations to the Gulf and there was a lot of logistic support that they enjoyed from the modules in Kerala. The report also speaks about a series of attacks that the IM had planned and it also adds that they would recommence their operations from Uttar Pradesh.

All these factors would play a very crucial role in the existing case and the investigators are currently joining all the dots in order to make some sense out of this case.