From explosions to assassinations- this is something that has been revealed during the interrogation of various Indian Mujaheddin operatives who have been arrested over the past couple of months. There have been nearly one dozen arrests in the past 6 months and what one finds common during the probe is that each one has revealed at least one plot which involves an assassination.
Imran, Soofa, Mohammad Abrar Khan, Aqeel Khilji and Mohammed Zaffar Hussain Qureshi, all operatives of the Indian Mujahideen are alleged to have revealed at least one plan to assassinate high profile personalities who they feel have been a threat to their religion.
The Indian Mujahideen have over the past couple of years carried out a few attacks, but those have really not that been that impactful when compared to their earlier outings in different parts of the country. Going by the police reports which have been prepared after the recent spate of arrests of the IM cadres it appears that the outfit has been trying to put in a lot of its resources mainly into assassinations when compared to blasts across the country.
Imran and Soofa were one of the first few operatives to reveal their plans regarding an assassination plot. The police who probed the duo say that they revealed that they had planned on killing Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi and even went up to the extent of saying that the funding was coming in from the Lashkar-e-Tayiba for the same. Intelligence Bureau officials add that while a person like Modi has always been high up on the list of these terrorists, it would however not be an easy operation. Moreover they would be weighing the pros and cons at least a million times before they even attempt something to this effect taking into consideration the after effects.
The interrogation of Mohammad Abrar Khan goes on to state that the IM was planning on assassinating the judges who delivered the verdict in the Ayodhya case. This was however taken very seriously and the security for these judges was beefed up. The judges have always been on the hit list and the police have always ensured that security around them has always been very tight. The police interrogating them say that they found this to be a golden opportunity to make a statement as they feel that the verdict has gone against the members of their community. Moreover they have picked on a very emotive issue and in case they succeeded they would have managed to garner a lot of support from a section of the people who have been voicing in their concerns. In addition to this the Babri issue is not something that has had a relevance only in India. All the major recruitment’s that take place across Asia have quoted this incident while roping in the cadres.
The interrogation of Aqeel Khilji and Mohammed Zaffar Hussain Qureshi went on to reveal that they were not only attempting the assassination of Mohan Bhagwat, but had also targeted a few leaders from the RSS.
The IM has always through its emails after an attack have claimed to be the saviours of Islam and they believe that the leaders mentioned above pose a danger to their religion. They also believe that some of these leaders have been directly responsible inciting tension against members of their community and hence assassinating them would go a long way in their fight.
The IM has off late been facing a recruitment crisis. Recruitment’s into such terror outfits are largely dependent on the issues they espouse and also the type of operations that they undertake. The blasts which have taken place recently have not managed to create a big impact and many possible new recruits may have shied away from joining the group. The manner in which some have been brainwashed have made them question the impact of the operation and they feel that unless there is something very big planned they would not like to be part of the group. Moreover they also feel that getting killed or arrested for small operations has not been worthwhile.
During the questioning these operatives have consistently thrown the name of Riyaz Bhatkal while stating that he has been the man who wanted the IM to take up assassinations in a big way. However there is nothing to show that Riyaz has been managing the IM off late as he has already fled the country. These appear to be coordinated by the local modules in India and there are many small groups of the IM who have been trying to come together and stage a major operation, IB sources also pointed out.
Sources say that targeting the big leaders in the RSS or similar organisations may not be an easy job as it does require a great deal of planning and precision, something that the IM lacks at the moment. However they would try and get as close as possible and at least create a shake up which would go a long way in conveying a message.
The IB points out that one cannot take the IM lightly as they appear to be down at the moment. They are known for their patience and are capable of planning an operation for many years before even trying to execute it. However at the moment and going by these interrogation reports of these persons it does become evident that the outfit is aiming more at an assassination plot which would be followed up by a couple of small time blasts, the police also add.