Monday, June 7, 2010

IM may retaliate for being labeled as terror outfit

With the government declaring Indian Mujahideen as a terror organisation on Friday, Indian intelligence agencies warned that the outfit could come up with retaliatory attacks protesting against the announcement.

All the states have been asked to tighten security in view of the threat.

The Intelligence Bureau said in the wake of this announcement, the IM might plan more attacks in the future, however it will also be forced to cut down its operations from now on.

However, the declaration has also brought a big relief to Indian investigators, who can now investigate or arrest suspected IM members without much hindrance.

Prior to the announcement, Indian agencies found it extremely difficult to investigate cases in which the IM was involved.

Once a group is declared as a terrorist organisation, investigators can skirt the several procedures needed to arrest terrorists and to chargesheet them.

Also, investigators can now book IM members under stringent laws and will need to give lesser explanations in the court against their arrest.

The birth of the IM:

Following the attack at Akshardham temple in 2002, Pakistan's Inter State Intelligence decided to float a new outfit in India.

The ISI was desperate to float a terror outfit with an Indian face, as the Indian government had banned the Students Islamic Movement of India under the suspicion that the group was indulging in terrorist activities.

The instruction was that only men of Indian origin would be inducted in the outfit.

The names of IM members -- such as Riyaz Bhatkal, Abdus Subhan and the rest -- indicate that they are of Indian origin.

The outfit was named Indian Mujahideen after a number of changes. It was first called the Tehriq-e-Qasas and then the Lashkar-e-Qaharby. However, the ISI and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba felt these names were not compatible with the Indian scenario and that they sound like that of a Pakistani outfit.

The name Indian Mujahideen was first revealed after the blast at Uttar Pradesh court three years ago. At first it was dismissed as a hoax outfit, but after a period of time investigators realised that the outfit meant business.

The group was founded by Riyaz Bhatkal, who hailed from Bhatkal, Karnataka. While all the operations have been India-centric, the outfit is controlled by a Pakistani man, identified as Amir Reza.

The IB has said that IM members are none other than the members of the SIMI.

Young, educated, lower rung SIMI operatives were chosen for IM, as the outfit wanted to use advanced technology to carry out blasts in India. They knew that the Indian police was not technically sound and that they would only shoot in the dark before they actually apprehended the real culprit, which in turn would give them the time to escape.

The big players:

Amir Reza: The big boss, who is a Pakistani

Riyaz Bhatkal: founder

Iqbal Bhatkal:
Brother of Riyaz

Yaseen Bhatkal: Pune blast accused

Abdus Subhan Qureshi: A software engineer and an expert in making bombs

Safdar Nagori: Considered to be the architect of the IM, he had also converted the SIMI into a hardline outfit before turning it into the IM.

Mufti Abu Bashir: A preacher from Azamgarh

Qayamuddin Kapadia:
Suspected to be the IM financer

Sajid Mansur: A marketing executive who was part of the IM

Amil Parwaz: Accused in UP blasts

Attacks conducted:

23 November 2007: Uttar Pradesh serial blasts

13 May 2008: Jaipur blasts

25 July 2008: Bangalore serial blasts

26 July 2008: Ahmedabad serial blasts

13 September 2008: Delhi serial blasts

February 2010: Pune blast

The IM style:

The IB said the IM had adopted a new style in carrying out terror activities.

The outfit consisted of young men, who were hot blooded and aimed at embarrassing the Indian establishment. Most of the members wanted to avenge the ban on the SIMI.

Armed with a powerful tech team, they hacked into wifi networks and sent out mails minutes before every attack. T

These misleading mails were sent only to embarrass the establishment and to show how ill-prepared the force was. However the group was busted after the Delhi blasts.

Today, the Indian Mujahdeen has its largest presence in Azamgarh, Kerala [ Images ], Karnataka, Pune and Hyderabad.

The Lashkar had decided to recruit IM cadres from Kerala for its Kashmir [ Images ] operations, but had to withdraw as they did not prove effective enough and were unable to garner local support due to the language barrier.

It was only after the Pune blasts that the IB found that Pune was the outfit's primary base.

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