More proof of SIMI role in terror

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by Singh, May 25, 2011.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

    Feb 23, 2009
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    The Indian national arrested in France last month in connection with suspected Al Qaeda link is a product of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India. Mohammad Niaz Abdul Rashid, who hails from Tamil Nadu, joined the SIMI at the age of 21. When he left for France in 2008, he had been on the roll of SIMI for three-four years. The disclosure has confirmed widely held views that the SIMI was actively involved in training militants for carrying out terror attacks.

    French media has reported that the intelligence agency was also probing Niaz for his contacts in Pakistan, which he visited often. He was also under probe for his alleged links with Karachi-based anti-Shia terror outfit, Jundullah, which was designated a foreign terror organisation by the US. Niaz’s arrest on May 10 in Paris came in the wake of warning that Al Qaeda could launch retaliatory strike to avenge Osama bin Laden’s death. He was arrested on his return from Algeria.

    Niaz is the second Indian national to be arrested on terror charges overseas after Mumbai resident Roshan Jamal Khan, picked up from a Barcelona mosque in 2008 and serving a six-year jail term.

    Contending that Rashid has been under the radar of Indian intelligence agencies too, Home Minister P Chidambaram said the mechanical engineer had reportedly a “militant bent of mind” and had joined a SIMI-affiliated organisation at 21. The Home Minister said Rashid hails from Trichy district of Tamil Nadu and “he was radicalised at a very early age and he found his way to France.”

    Chidambaram said Rashid is an educated man and believed to be a mechanical engineer, who is acquainted with technology. “It is stated that at the age of 21, he joined a SIMI- affiliated organisation based in Tamil Nadu. He first arrived in France in 2008. He was already a trained activist with a militant bent of mind,” he said.

    Chidambaram ruled out any immediate move to seek consular access to Rashid, saying India was awaiting the result of the investigations underway by French authorities.

    “It is reported that Rashid admitted that he was part of a network which is recruiting people for jihad in the Pakistan-Afghanistan region. Further investigation is underway and we are in close touch with French authorities,” he said, adding France is sharing information with India.

    To a question, he said there is no report yet of Rashid having recruited anyone in India. “He seems to have recruited French nationals of different origins, mostly African origin.”

    The Home Minister said in a short span of six months, Rashid has been able to set up a nucleus of like-minded people of jihadis in France. “That consists of four French citizens of Moroccan origin, one French national of Turkish origin, one French national of Pakistan origin and two others,” he said.

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