Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Terror syllabus seized from SIMI men

Anubhuti Vishnoi
Posted online: Tuesday, April 01, 2008 at 0115 hrs

NEW DELHI, MARCH 31: Even as seven more activists of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) have been arrested from Ujjain and Indore, more startling disclosures have come to light. SIMI was not just planning vengeful terror strikes against BJP leaders; it had full-fledged literature to run a thorough training programme in terrorism. A well-documented “syllabus” in terrorism has been recovered from the SIMI leaders arrested last week.

Outside of Jammu and Kashmir, the banned SIMI is the only outfit in India to have in place a literature-based military training. The “syllabus”, which holds the key to train militant cadres for targeting top BJP leaders like Advani and Modi among others, is backed with a strong ideological content. It has several modules and levels of training. These go into details of military support needed to “back up” the ideological substance in the SIMI training literature. The literature recovered explains usage of fire weapons from close range besides ways of staying in hiding and ambushing targets. Investigators are poring over the contents of these terror-training modules to unearth SIMI’s functioning.

The “syllabus” calls for an Islamic state freed from western cultural influences — SIMI has been advocating a fight against social and moral degeneration of society that makes it un-Islamic. However, SIMI leaders claim to have turned to more “militant” means after the Babri Masjid demolition and post-Godhra riots, which according to them were aimed at annihilation of Muslims in India.

Interrogation of SIMI chief Safdar Nagori and the other 12 arrested has revealed that they planned to target 10 top BJP and VHP leaders associated with these two events.

Investigation is also on to find out the funding model for the training programme of its militant cadre. So far, SIMI has emerged as quite self-sufficient and its cadres are reasonably looked after. It has developed not only south India as its major hub but has already spread out a massive network across the country with cadres all over.

Aware of its international network, SIMI has even decided to omit India from its organisational name to assume a global Islamic identity as Student Islamic Movement (SIM).

Meanwhile, the Madhya Pradesh police have arrested seven more of its activists from Ujjain and Indore on the charge of providing assistance to their former chief Safdar Nagori and 12 other top leaders arrested last week.

Ujjain SP Manmeet Narang claimed five of the men were held on Monday while they were holding a meeting to chalk their course of action following the arrest of the main leaders. They were held from the courtyard of a house at Unhel village, a hub of SIMI activities. They were produced before a court in Ujjain and remanded in police custody till April 7.

The other two were arrested from a house in Indore in a raid on Sunday. Indore SP Anshuman Yadav said the duo were not only providing money to the banned organisation but other logistical support as well.

SIMI men were planning to target Advani, Modi: police

Anubhuti Vishnoi
Posted online: Monday, March 31, 2008 at 2346 hrs

Indore: Teams from six states are questioning 13 SIMI activists

NEW DELHI, MARCH 30 : Activists of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), arrested by the Madhya Pradesh police last Thursday, have told police that they planned to target top BJP leaders, including L K Advani and Narendra Modi, because they believed these leaders were linked to the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the post-Godhra riots.

Police claimed these SIMI activists had told them they were even training militant cadres for the attacks. “Those interrogated have said that training camps and militant cadres were being organised to target some top leaders... while they are being evasive about names, they said their targets were leaders associated with the Babri Masjid case and the recent Gujarat riots. The Samjhauta Express blast connection is also in the realm of possibility,” Indore SP Anshuman Yadav told The Indian Express.

The 13 arrested SIMI activists have told their interrogators that apart from Advani and Modi, others being targeted were Uma Bharti, VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and Praveen Togadia. The SIMI activists, including their leader Safdar Nagori, said the decision to target these leaders was taken because no action was taken, despite several inquiry commissions, against leaders involved in the Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat riots.

The 13 activists are being interrogated jointly by the Intelligence Bureau and police units of at least six states — teams from Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi and Haryana have all landed — at a secure interrogation centre in Indore.

Yadav said that while SIMI’s association with the Samjhauta train blasts is not yet established, it is in the “realm of high probability”.

“The IB and Haryana police are interrogating them on the issue. Though there is strong suspicion of their involvement, no linkages have been established as yet,” he said.

Indore has a connection to the Samjhauta Express blasts case — much of the material used to create the lethal suitcase bombs were bought from the city’s Kothari market. While investigators had traced the terror trail to the city last year, even identifying the shops from where articles like suitcases, plastic bottles, battery were purchased, there has been no movement forward ever since. At that time, Indore police had even ruled out any SIMI connection to the blasts.

“At that time there was nothing to establish the SIMI connection because all these people, who have been arrested now, had been at large for years. With their arrest, things change considerably,” Yadav said.

Police believe identification by the Indore shopkeepers of any of those arrested will give them a new lead.

Held SIMI chief claimed links with Mullah Omar

Johnson T A
Posted online: Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 0024 hrs

Bangalore, March 29 :In January this year, following his chance arrest in the Hubli region of Karnataka, Raziuddin Nasir, 21, a Hyderabad resident and a suspected terror operative, began dropping the names of several key fugitive terrorist leaders from around the world.

One of the names Nasir, the son of a cleric facing conspiracy charges in Gujarat, mentioned and claimed association with was that of Safdar Nagori, leader of a radical unit of the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), who was arrested during the crackdown in Indore on Thursday.

Nasir claimed to be working with Nagori and Adnan, alias Hafeez Mullah — another radical SIMI leader from Bijapur in Karnataka who was also arrested last week — to train and arm youths recruited to their extremist ideology in southern India to carry out terror attacks.

While there were possibilities of associations with fugitive terror suspects from Hyderabad, one name that Nasir mentioned, however, foxed investigators.

Amid admissions of being trained at terror camps in Pakistan, Nasir told interrogators that he and his associates were in touch with Mullah Omar, the fugitive Taliban leader linked to Osama bin Laden, who controlled Afghanistan prior to 2001.

He specifically told interrogators, “Nagori Mullah Omar ka fauj bana raha tha (Nagori was building an army for Mullah Omar)”. Nasir also stated during a narco analysis test that the group interacted with a Taliban ideologue.

But investigators from the Corps of Detectives (CoD) in Bangalore who have over the past two months been probing a rag-tag group featuring medical and engineering students that was being assembled in Karnataka, allegedly by Nagori and Adnan, are yet to unearth any evidence to prove contacts between leaders of the group and the Taliban.

“Nasir and the others have definitely been inspired by the radical ideology of Mullah Omar and the Taliban, but there is no evidence of two-way contacts,” said a senior police officer supervising investigations for the CoD in Karnataka.

Based on its investigations across Karnataka and Kerala, the CoD has so far arrested seven alleged SIMI operatives, apart from Nasir, on charges of conspiracy to wage war against the country. The police have alleged that the group held three key meetings in the northern part of Karnataka and plotted to attack tourist spots in Goa.

Nagori, Adnan and Shibli — a computer engineer originally from Kerala who was living in Bangalore and allegedly supporting SIMI activities — who were all arrested during the Indore crackdown, were listed as most wanted by the CoD for being the top leadership of the group assembled in Karnataka.

While Nagori, who is linked to the 2006 Malegaon blasts, has been in hiding for a long time, Adnan and Shibli had disappeared after the first set of arrests of Nasir and his friend Asadullah Abubacker became public on January 26.

“The arrest of Nagori, Adnan and Shibli has brought the conspiracy investigations in Karnataka that began after the arrest of Nasir to a full circle,” said a senior officer.

To join terror dots, Maharashtra waits to get SIMI detainees

Shishir Gupta
Posted online: Sunday, March 30, 2008 at 2252 hrs

NEW DELHI, MARCH 29 :The Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) has got in touch with their Madhya Pradesh counterparts to get custody of the top SIMI leaders led by Safdar Nagori soon after the present police remand expires on April 11.

The ATS wants to unravel the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) network in the state as SIMI activists are reported to have acted as logistics suppliers in terror attacks in Maharashtra.

Top Maharashtra official told The Sunday Express that Nagori would be arrested by the ATS as he is wanted in a terror incident in Mumbai.

According to this official, Nagori always acted as an ideologue of the pan-Islamic organisation and did not directly take part in terror attacks. In other words, according to this official, SIMI general secretary Nagori was akin to Jaish-e-Mohammed’s Masood Azhar, who began as an ideologue of the Harkat-ul-Ansar group.

While the state police suspect that SIMI activists would have gone under cover after the Indore arrests, Nagori and his other functionaries would come useful in understanding the links between SIMI and other pan-Islamic terror groups like the al Qaeda and others based in Pakistan. First using Babri Masjid demolition and then 2002 Gujarat riots, Ujjain-born Nagori has been inciting Muslim youth all over India to go for weapon training across the border via Nepal or Bangladesh route.

SIMI’s Faisal Sheikh, prime accused in 7/11 blasts, was trained with others in Pakistan by LeT. He kept in touch with terror group’s commander Azam Cheema to cause mayhem in Mumbai.

During his interrogation, Maharashtra SIMI general secretary Ehtesham Siddiqui revealed that his group was constantly in touch with Cheema for money and weapon supplies.

The Maharashtra Police seek to unravel the Malegoan blasts’ plot through questioning of Nagori and his brother Kamruddin. On December 21, 2006, the Mumbai ATS had nailed nine SIMI activists for trying to provoke communal violence by targeting the Malegoan mosque with four bomb blasts during Shab-e-Baraat festival. SIMI, in fact, has Mumbai in crosshairs since the Ghatkopar blasts in 2002.

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