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Indian Mujahideen and its operator in India!

Interesting Entry: "Indian Mujahideen's Yasin Bhatkal behind 13/7 Mumbai blast? By Defence Forum of India / Mumbai published January 2nd, 2012.

An interesting entry by the Defence Forum Of India (DFOI) mentioned that Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), which is investigating the 13/7 Mumbai serial bomb blast case (2011 Mumbai bombings (often referred to as 13 July or 13/7) were a series of three coordinated bomb explosions at different locations in Mumbai, India, on 13 July 2011 between 18:54 and 19:06 IST. The blasts occurred at the Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar, and Dadar West localities, leaving 26 killed, and 130 injured) believes that frontline terrorist of Indian Mujahideen (IM) - Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh was in Mumbai during the blast and could have carried out the three massive explosions. ATS has launched a search operation across the country as there are firm indications that Bhatkal has not left the country. Moreover, Bhatkal is wanted in several blast cases since 2005. So who is Yasin Bhatkal and the Indian Mujahidin?

According to new sources, technical inputs reveal that key Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist Yasin Bhatkal (aka Shahrukh) was in Mumbai during the carnage and could have carried out the three explosions. Considering that IM co-founders Riyaz Bhatkal and Iqbal Bhatkal are in Pakistan, investigators had surmised that Yasin Bhatkal (Picture on right) could have crossed the border after giving a Delhi Police team the slip last November. Top government sources said that an IM operative of the Madhubani module disclosed during interrogation that Yasin was missing from Delhi when the serial blasts were engineered in Mumbai. This has also been corroborated by the Mumbai location of Yasin’s mobile phone, which was seized when he slipped out of the Delhi Police team’s reach in Chennai. The first indication of Yasin’s capacities and capabilities was revealed during the interrogation of arrested IM operative Salman aka Chotu by the Uttar Pradesh Police's anti-terrorism squad last year. According to other sources, he might have lived in Meer Vihar in Outer Delhi’s Nangloi area which is about eight kilometers from Mundka metro station. On December 2nd, 2011, police unearthed what they said was a small ordnance and weapons factory in a room occupied by Mohammad Irshad Khan, one of the six alleged IM operatives arrested in a multi-city terror hunt carried out by the Special Cell of Delhi Police over the last two weeks of November. The set-up belonged to Mohammad Irshad Khan. It was here that Yasin Bhatkal sought shelter,” said a senior police officer. Irshad, a 52-year-old originally from Samastipur in Bihar, was picked up in Chennai on November 27. Top police sources said Yasin had been married to Irshad’s daughter six months ago, and spent a lot of time with Irshad in the Meer Vihar factory. Yasin’s wife lived in her father’s home in Shaheen Bagh in Okhla’s Abul Fazl Enclave, a senior officer said. This is the same neighborhood where Batla House is located — the scene of the September 19, 2008 encounter in which police gunned down two alleged IM terrorists, and a Special Cell Inspector was killed. It seems that Yasin Bhatkal and Ahmad Siddi Bappa was living in Delhi for atleast six months even as security agencies were scouring the length and breadth of the country to trace him. Shahrukh is believed to be the third in Indian Mujahideen’s hierarchy after brothers Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal. All of them belong to the town of Bhatkal in Karnataka. Shahrukh emerged as IM’s top operative in the country after Riyaz and Iqbal escaped to Karachi According to the investigators, Shahrukh had taken over the running of IM in the country ever since Riyaz and Iqbal escaped to Karachi. As per reports, Sharukh made frequent trips to Madhubani district in Bihar – bordering Nepal – to coordinate transit of money and explosives from across the porous border and also look for recruits. The arrested IM operatives are believed to have told the police that Shahrukh was behind the attack in Jama Masjid. The attack was part of the new terror plan to target tourists to create panic. CCTV footage also places Yasin Bhatkal at Pune blast site. Many still photographs have been taken from the footage and Bangalore police identified Shahrukh. Indian Mujahideen have been operating in India a great deal lately. Believed to be a "shadow amalgam of the Students Islamic Movement of India", the Indian Mujahideen have been declared a terrorist organization. Investigators believe that Indian Mujahideen is one of many groups composed of lower-tier Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) members (an Islamic student terrorist organization that was formed in Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, in April 1977. The stated mission of SIMI is the ‘liberation of India’ from Western materialistic cultural influence and to convert its Muslim society to live according to Muslim code of conduct. This organization is alleged by many, including the Government of India, to be involved in terrorism). According to the Indian Intelligence Bureau, SIMI took new titles because the top leadership of SIMI have been detained and would be available for interrogation. The change in names is also believed to signal a change in tactics as SIMI-affiliated militants attempt to garner more support from India's Muslim community rather than be seen as a group consisting of foreigners. In September 2011, the United States officially placed the Indian Mujahideen on its list of terrorist organizations, with the State Department acknowledging that the group had engaged in several terrorist attacks in India and had regional aspirations with the ultimate aim of creating an "Islamic caliphate" across South Asia. According to Indian intelligence, the IM is not a well knit organization with a hierarchical structure like other more established groups like the LeT. Rather, it is a loose network of individuals from the state of Uttar Pradesh with alleged links with the Harkat ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HuJI), and the terror cartel of Aftab Ansari. Key SIMI members like Qayamuddin Kapadia, Usman Agarbattiwala and Sajid Mansuri started supporting the idea of the formation of the IM as early as December 2007 with 50 SIMI cadres participating in a jihadi training camp in Aluva, Kerala1. The plausible reason for men forming the IM could be many. First could be their personal experiences during the Gujarat riot of 2002. Other reasons could be the availability of funds for such activities in abundance in an underground network of terror financiers. Young men especially from UP also join these activities because of the availability of money in it vis-à-vis the absence of alternate employment opportunities. Terror activities also do not require too much of education or knowledge of the English language and yet the monetary benefit could be tremendous. Most of the arrested IM cadres were ill versed in English yet fluent in Hindi or Urdu. The leadership of the IM is mainly traced to a man from Mumbai named Abdul Subhan Usman Qureshi, code name “Kasim” or “al-arbi” who signed the email manifestos sent by the IM before and after the multiple blasts in 2008. Though the IM cadres mostly come from India, their linkages with a global jihad are worrisome. Links to the LeT and the HuJi also portends the fact that cross border movement of cadres and arms appears rather easy with the help of false names and passports mostly of Pakistani origin. These designations highlight the threat posed by IM not only to Western interests, but to India, a close U.S. partner. By closely working with the Indians, the U.S can help curb the rise of terrorist organizations like this on a global level. 

Nanjappa, Vicky (2008-07-27). "Investigators say Indian Mujahideen is SIMI, V2.0".
Nanjappa, Vicky (2008-07-29). "Revealed: Indian Mujahideen's two-pronged terror strategy".
"Unknown Islamic group threatens more blasts in tourist India", Agence France-Presse, 14 May 2008.
"Indian Mujahideen sends pre-blast video footage", India Today, 14 May 2008.
"Outraged India set to expel migrants", The Australian, 19 May 2008. 


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