Friday, January 15, 2010

Indian Mujahideen: Jihadi Threat Continues

from Counterterrorism Blog

By Animesh Roul

Last week, media reports in India quoting Intelligence sources have underscored threats emanating from Indian Mujahideen (IM), the homegrown jihadi organization which perpetrated series of attacks on India’s urban centers in 2008. As per the reports, the IM has been plotting to carry out a ‘9/11-type' terrorist attack using hijacked airplanes. India’s Intelligence Bureau has identified couple of IM suspects as Shahzad Ahmed (a.k.a Pappu) who had underwent pilot training couple of years back and Mirza Shadab Baig, both could be spearheading the next terror strike.

Many IM/SIMI militants are now under custody and they were arrested from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Couple of them were also arrested from southern states of Karnataka and Kerala. Those arrested include Zahid Shaikh, Yunus Mansuri, Abu Bashar Kazmi, Qayamuddin Kapadia, Abdul Raziq, Peerbhoy. However, the top leadership and the masterminds of the attacks, Iqbal Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal, Tauqeer and Amir Raza Khan are still at large.

IM's Terror Footprints:

• May 13, 2008: Jaipur city suffered nine bomb blasts that killed over 60 and injured scores of people. The explosions occurred in busy market places, including Tripolia market, Manek Chowk and Johri Bazaar.

• July 25, 2008: IM struck again in India’s IT capital, Bengaluru (Bangalore, Karnataka State), with eight simultaneous low-intensity blasts, in which at least two people were killed and seven injured. The explosions occurred near the Madivala check point in Hosur Road, the Adugodi area, a place near the Mallya Hospital, and another site near the Rashtriya Military School.

• July 26, 2008: A series of over 16 synchronized bomb blasts hit Ahmadabad (Gujarat State), in which as many as 38 people were killed and more than 100 others injured. Most of the blasts occurred in crowded places like Hatkeshwar, Bapunagar, Narol, Ishanpur, Saraspur, Sarangpur, and L.G. General Hospital in Maninagar.

• September 13, 2008: The national capital, New Delhi, was hit by a series of five bomb blasts that killed nearly 30 people and injured over 100 others. The explosions took place in the crowded Karol Bagh area, the busy Barakhamba Road, the market place at Greater Kailash, and the Central Park in Cannaught Place area.

Besides the above mentioned events, IM's link in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror episode is under investigation now. Intel sources see a money trail that was routed through IM's Riyaz Bhatkal from the Gulf countries to execute the operation.

For more on IM, See:'Indian Mujahideen planning 9/11-type attack', Headlines Today Investigative Bureau, January 6, 2010.

By Animesh Roul on January 13, 2010 2:49 PM