First the death of Osama Bin Lasden and now the alleged death of Ilyas Kashmiri. There appears to be a pale of gloom in the terror circles of India following the news regarding these two dreaded terrorists. Although both these men limited their role in India, their names were used constantly to recruit as well as motivate cadres in India.
Osama was a key figure in terror circles across India and he was no less than a God to these youth who took the path of terror. However over the past one year, Kashmiri with his blatant statements like Ghazb-e-Hind was gaining a lot of ground especially in Kerala and this was the state the man himself wanted to launch every terrorist attack out of.
Kerala has a lot of splinter groups fighting for the same meaningless cause of Jihad, but what Kashmiri had managed to do was unite these forces. Very recently, Kashmiri had said that all recruitments for Jihad would happen from Kerala. He felt that the cadres from this part of the world had the most determination and also the loyalty factor was immense among them. Moreover picking up cadres from Kerala was always easier for any terror group since the mindset among a lot of youth from this state is pro Pakistan, according to Intelligence Bureau reports. In addition to these communal tensions are extremely high in Kerala and following every communal clash there is a major recruitment drive that always takes place.
Terror groups such as the SIMI and the Indian Mujahideen which are very active in this state had started to lose out over the past couple of years. Most of them had split into several groups and they started to find that there was no focus in their operation. However with Kashmiri deciding that he would launch his attacks from this state, there was a huge change in the mindset of the terror groups. They had found a leader, an inspiration and also a motivation in Kashmiri. He had started to become their next Osama Bin Laden.
Both the police and the Intelligence Bureau have said that it was becoming extremely difficult to stop this phenomenon in Kerala and to a large extent the situation was getting out of control. Not only was there the ideological influence from Pakistan, but the funding from the Gulf made matters even more worse. In the past couple of months, Kashmiri had become a key factor among several youth and they blindly followed him thanks to his warrior status. The fact that he fought with one eye and his bold statements were all inspirational for these youth.
For Kashmiri’s pet project the Ghazb-e-Hind, the recruitment was going to be done primarily from Kerala. The process had already commenced and all these youth were transported across the border to be personally trained by him. The biggest worry for Indian agencies was not only the fact that he was an inspirational leader, but also he taught them to become fierce warriors.
When one looks at a Kashmiri he just believed in a full fledged war. He was the one who brought back life into the Al-Qaeda with his expertise in operations. What made him even more deadly is that he was good in three departments- ideology, planning and execution. There are very few terrorists who possess all these skills. Hence going by his expertise, it becomes clear that the recruits from India were being imparted with very sophisticated training. Intercepts picked up on the Indian youth show that they were being trained in every possible department- use of ammunition, fidayeen strikes, bomb blasts.
His training pattern has been extremely successful considering that he belonged to the Special Services Group of the Pakistan army before falling out with them. He has even claimed that he had trained the ten terrorists who undertook the 26/11 attack. Going by the manner in which that attack was carried out, it clearly shows the skills the man possessed.
The IB says that the other problem was that in the past couple of months, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba too was getting closer to Kashmiri. The Lashkar did find itself on the back foot in India for sometime now and hence it used the expertise of Kashmiri to regain control in India. India can sure breathe a sigh of relief with the news of Kashmiri. There is going to be a natural disintegration of terror forces in most parts of India especially in Kerala since their leader is dead. Moreover Kashmiri was in the know of various plans for India, which only he could have executed with deadly precision, the IB also adds.
While there may be many other leaders the youth may look to for inspiration, the fact of the matter remains that Kashmiri was the best at the job where the operations and execution aspect of terrorism was concerned.