The Students Islamic Movement of India and the Indian Mujahideen will shut shop this year. These Indian-based outfits which are blamed for terror attacks in various Indian cities will make way for three deadly outfits to come together and set up India operations.
Security agencies told rediff.com that this year Al Qaeda will team up with the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to set up India operations. Intelligence Bureau officials point out that this would be the end of the SIMI and the Indian Mujahideen and all their cadre would be accommodated into there three outfits for their Indian operations.
These outfits have already commenced operations and are setting up sleeper cells. This is the first part of setting up a full fledged terror module, the IB says. The Pakistan-based outfits have been trying constantly to shift focus out of that country and they want to ensure that no external forces will have to be sent into India to carry out terror operations, like was the case with the 26/11 Mumbai attacks following which Pakistan and the Inter Services Intelligence came under the scanner.
The Lashkar-e-Tayiba has been intentionally left out of this plan since they have been directed to focus more on Kashmir operations. Moreover post 26/11, members of this outfit have come under the scanner and the David Coleman Headley's arrest has only increased the heat on them.
The three outfits have a big role to play in India. Al Qaeda was picked due to its vast network and financial capabilities while the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi came into the picture since it has one of the best teams to train fidayeen (suicide attackers). The Harkat-ul-Mujahideen on the other hand is a natural ally of the SIMI and the IM and hence the ISI thought it would be best to rope in this outfit since it already has many trained cadre in India.
While operations would cover the entire nation, the three outfits would make a beginning first in the south. Sleeper cells have already been set up in the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The reason behind choosing these states is that there is an already existing network of SIMI. SIMI has 12 front organisations in these states and hence gathering cadres and training them will not be difficult for the ISI and the outfits based in Pakistan.