SIMI-IM Thread

nrupatunga

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'If the Taliban needed men, we wanted to be available'
The banned Students Islamic Movement of India has made several attempts to revive itself since Indian security agencies cracked down on SIMI and arrested its leader Safdar Nagori, left, almost five years ago.

Nagori's interrogation transcripts are a part of the National Investigation Agency's detailed report on the Indian Mujahideen and SIMI's international connections.

In the transcript, which this correspondent accessed, Nagori states: 'IM is just an off-shoot of SIMI. I wanted to have two outfits, one for Indian operations and the other for international operations. The IM came in a while later. Initially, we had named our Indian outfit the Muslim Student Federation. Later we decided to call the outfits SIMI and IM.'

'I had deputed Abdus Subhan to build contacts with the Taliban and C A M Basheer to help raise funds in the UAE (United Arab Emirates).'

'We decided to target BJP leaders through mass bombing and individual strikes. The petrol bomb is something that we planned on using since this sort of weapon would never come under the scanner. The next task was to rope in elders. We also approached women to spread ideological awareness among the youth,' Nagori said.

According to the SIMI terrorist, SIMI split when he was asked to leave for wanting the organisation to be more aggressive after the government banned it.

The Nagori faction followed the Taliban script and wanted cadres who would not just be foot soldiers planting bombs, but be full time mujahideen.

Nagori sought to train them in armed combat, swimming, water-based attacks, air-borne attacks.

'We wanted our boys to be ready for any sort of combat and if at all the Taliban needed men, we wanted to be available,' Nagori told interrogators.

Officials told this correspondent that in the last five years, SIMI has played a secondary role to the Indian Mujahideen which carried out most terror strikes in India. However, they add that both the Bodh Gaya and Patna terror attacks in 2013 were SIMI operations, logistics for which were provided by the IM.
 

nrupatunga

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Yasin Bhatkal arrest, a year later..
A year has gone by since the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, the key Indian Mujahideen man. His arrest was quickly followed up with the arrests of close aides Assadullah Akthar, Tehsin Akthar and Waqas Ahmed. In short the top four who ran the Indian Mujahideen were all rounded off and this led to a major vaccum in the outfit which carried out blasts at ease on Indian soil.

The question is how much has really changed since the arrest of these men? The Indian agencies without a doubt have done a spectacular job in breaking the Indian Mujahideen, but the question is, whether it is time to relax?

Yasin and his accomplices have revealed to the investigators that the Indian Mujahideen may be down following their arrests, but the organization will rise once again and there is a second rung of leadership which will emerge. The IM has in the past one year intentionally distanced itself from the ISI claiming that the Pakistan spy agency had a personal vedetta and was not adhering to a cause.

Officials say that the second rung leadership of the IM is very much active and with the likes of Riyaz Bhatkal, Iqbal Bhatkal and Abdus Subhan still out in the open anything could happen.


At the moment the IM is on auto pilot mode. The outfit is not focusing on small time attacks on Indian soil. They have decided to pursue a global agenda which includes supporting the ISIS and the Tehrik-e-Taliban. The IM has decided that it would operate with the ISIS and the TT under the name of Ansar-ul-Tawhid. This particular outfit has been recruiting Indian Muslims for the TT and the ISIS and has a deeep rooted network. In fact it is headed by a Bhatkal based operative known as Sultan Ahmed Armar who is said to be holed up in North Wazirstan.

This no doubt is setting the global tone for the IM which was first given birth to as a home grown outfit. For Pakistan the Indian agenda is more important when compared to a global one. For the Indian agenda there is the SIMI which has shown signs of resurgence since the arrest of Yasin and his men. The Bodhgaya and the Patna blasts are signs of the outfit rising yet again.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that the SIMI can be more dangerous when compared to the IM. The IM was driven by a set of people who believed in a war like situation. The SIMI on the other hand is ideologically driven and when an organization treads this line, it becomes extremely dangerous in nature. The SIMI for now has decided to focus plainly on India and not carry out an ambitious global plan like the IM. The SIMI will continue to focus on atrocities against the Indian Muslims and this they feel will help them spruce up the recruitments into their outfit.

However one must understand that the SIMI is split into two today. There is a radical faction of this outfit which is headed by Safdar Nagori who is currently lodged in a Gujarat jail. His anti Modi propaganda has appealed to his followers and they would continue to use this as an excuse to carry out strikes. The SIMI had set its eyes against the BJP ever since it was banned by them when L K Advani was the Home Minister.

With the IM shifting focus out of India, the SIMI has entered to fill up this vaccum. The SIMI however will focus mainly in Northern India as it has a greater support base out there. In the days to come the Intelligence agencies say that the SIMI cadres will try and up the ante in states such as Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Rajasthan where the outfit has a sizeable number of cadres.

The SIMI would however try and cover parts of South India as well. Their strongest network is in Kerala and there are a good number of radicals in that state who welcome the SIMI with open arms. Let us not forget that the first of the major meetings of the SIMI before it split into a radical outfit was held at a camp in Wagamon in Kerala.
 

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http://defenceforumindia.com/forum/...eikh-arrested-uttar-pradesh.html - DFI thread

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IM operative involved in 2010 Jama Masjid attack arrested in UP


The special cell of Delhi Police has arrested an Indian Mujahideen suspect from western Uttar Pradesh.

The suspect, identified as Ejaz Sheikh from Pune, was arrested from Saharanpur on Friday night in a joint operation with security agencies.

Special commissioner of police SN Shrivastava confirmed the arrest to TOI. "A team led by DCP Sanjeev Yadav had been tracking him since many months," Shrivastava added.

Sheikh is involved in several attacks including the Jama Masjid attack of 2010.

Ejaz Sheikh had successfully avoided the scanner of security agencies for years.

Educated in Pune, Sheikh's name didn't even figure in interrogation of top IM suspects. He was in close touch with Bhatkal brothers in Karachi and joined IM when Talha (an IM ideologue arrested in Feb 2012) motivated youths in Pune between 05-08.
 

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Probe reveals Indian Mujahideen's festival terror plot in Delhi
The Indian Mujahideen was planning a terror strike in the National Capital Region during the upcoming festival season, according to the interrogators of arrested IM operative Ajaz Sheikh. Investigators are now trying to identify the persons whom met Sheikh, 27, met in Lucknow and Moradabad. The details of his stay in these cities are being looked into.

The Delhi Police's Special Cell had arrested Sheikh from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh on Friday night.

Sheikh had fled to Nepal after the arrest of Indian Mujahideen chief Yasin Bhatkal last year and was hiding there since then, a police officer said. "Sheikh was recently asked by Pakistan-based handlers Riyaz Bhatkal and Mohsin Chowdhary to reach Delhi. He was specifically asked not to directly reach Delhi to avoid being traced. He was instructed to reach Delhi via Lucknow, Moradabad and Saharanpur. Ajaz was supposed to get further orders after reaching Delhi," the officer said.

Money through the hawala route was likely to be passed to the IM's sleeper cells by Sheikh for funding a terror act in Delhi, the police suspect.

Sheikh had told his interrogators that his primary role was to provide funds to the IM operatives. Yasin Bhatkal had himself received cash from Sheikh in the past.

Sheikh also revealed that he had met Tehseen Akhtar alias Monu earlier this year and gave him one lakh rupees on two occasions.

The Indian Mujahideen member also met Waqas twice and handed him money.
 

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SIMI announces comeback with blasts
The blast outside the Faraskhana police station in Pune in July and a blast in Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh on September 12 have sent out the message that the banned Students Islamic Movement of India is back in business.

Both blasts were carried out by a gang of five -- Zakir, Aslam, Amjad Hassan, Ejazuddin and Guddu -- who escaped from Khandwa jail in Madhya Pradesh in October 2013.

These SIMI members have taken it upon themselves to revive the outfit and the Pune blast was a message to Maharashtra's Anti Terror Squad of their existence and to boost recruitments in the region. Bijnor was chosen to rope in more members in light of the current communally charged atmosphere in Uttar Pradesh.

The Pune and Bijnor blasts were low-intensity in nature. Investigators believe they were not meant to cause harm.

With the five escapees from Khandwa jail set on a terror mission, a state of alert has been sounded in Gujarat following intelligence inputs that they plan to free SIMI leader Safdar Nagori who is imprisoned in the state.
 

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Al-Jihad in West Bengal
The National Investigating Agency has found some startling details in its investigations into the Burdwan blasts. The entire operation was planned and was to be executed by a group known as the Al-Jihad which is a lethal combination of the Al-Qaeda and the Students Islamic Movement of India. They proposed to carry out at least 10 attacks in Kolkata and target the mammoth gathering during the Durga Puja in a bid to start establishing the Al-Qaeda unit in India in a big manner an NIA officer probing the case informed.

The material that was found on these members led to the NIA finding enough evidence to suggest that this was an operation undertaken by Al-Jihad. Several documents were found on the spot which included instructions on preparation of bombs. However the most incriminating of them was two pieces of paper which mentions the name of the organisation-Al Jihad. The other was a paper which speaks about the cause of Afghanistan and Gaza. Further the NIA has also found clips and letters which contain the Al-Qaeda's message by Ayman Al Zawahiri which made a call to set up operations in India.

The NIA is also studying the communication between the foot soldiers and their handlers who were holed up in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, officials also confirm. The communication makes it amply clear that they were planning a serial blast comprising ten attacks. Bombs were meant to rip through the city of Kolkata and they were to transport the bombs overnight and place it in crowded locations. The bombs were meant to be timed and triggered off by around 6.30 in the evening so as to cause maximum damage.

The NIA has also looked into a Bangladesh link. Based on Intelligence Bureau alerts and information it has been found that members of the Jamaat-e-Islami have worked closely with the SIMI in West Bengal. As per the probe these persons were to carry out the serial blasts and then slip into Bangladesh with the help of the Jamaat cadres who have also been accused by Bangladesh of laundering Saradha money.

SIMI and Jamaat work together in West Bengal. They have nearly 20 dedicated modules. The same modules helped Jamaat cadres hide when they were driven out from Bangladesh. SIMI has also vowed to set up the Al-Qaeda India operations following the call by Ayman Al Zawahiri.
 

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Hyderabad Police arrests two suspected SIMI operatives
The Hyderabad Police on Thursday arrested two suspected terrorists having links to the banned terror outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in Mumbai.

The suspected terrorists, Shoeb Ahmed Khan and Shah Mudassir, hail from Maharashtra and were heading to Afghanistan to undergo training under Al-Qaeda.

Police have recovered Jihadist literature and CD containing bomb-making information from their possession. The two are believed to be adept in using social networks in propagating Jihad. One of the two suspects, Shoeb Ahmed Khan is an associate of Indian Mujahideen terrorist Mansoor Ali Peerboy, informed police.
 

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Indian Mujahideen has grown beyond imagination
The Indian Mujahideen has become bigger than anyone could have imagined. The outfit which was primarily an offshoot of the Students Islamic Movement of India became one of India's deadliest home grown terror outfits and over the years it did everything to break away from that mould in a bid to be associated with a global Islamic cause. Be it recruitments into the Al-Qaeda, the ISIS or the cause of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma, the Indian Mujahideen stamp was found all over. The recent bombing at the Wagah border by a terror outfit known as the Jundallah also has traces of the Indian Mujahideen in it.

Changing course
The breaking away from the home grown mould commenced when the leader of the Indian Mujahideen, Yasin Bhatkal declared that it was time to dump the ISI. He felt that ISI had an agenda of its own and in no way did it concern the upliftment of Muslims. In fact they felt that they were being used by the ISI and when an NIA officer questioned him about him this is what he had to say. " The ISI are a bunch of pigs who used us. They have their selective favourites such as Riyaz Bhatkal who have the privilege of marrying beautiful women and living in plush houses in Karachi while we toil all day and plant bombs like ordinary foot soldiers." Following the spate of arrests of the Indian Mujahideen cadres, their modules were busted all over the country. However what the agencies missed was that they had become content in lending support to international terrorist groups and being part of their larger agenda.

A helping hand
An operative like Sultan Ahmed Armar is an important man in this entire racket. He hails from Bhatkal, Karnataka and has been a prime recruiter for both the Al-Qaeda and the ISIS. His agenda is very straight and simple. He leans towards the ISIS, but does not shy away from the Al-Qaeda either. He understands the battle very well and recruits on the basis of need. His name has been found during recruitments both in South and North India. In south he managed to recruit several youth into the ISIS while up North he roped in 30 members to fight alongside the Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Intelligence Bureau officials say that the modus operandi of the Indian Mujahideen is extremely strategic and clear. Although the ISIS and the Al-Qaeda are not together, the IM realizes that the two outfits would eventually come together soon. They also realize that after the battle in Syria and Iraq the focus would shift to Afghanistan.

At first Sultan Armar was considered to be recruiting only for the ISIS. The first NIA dossier on him states that he is based out of India and ensures that more members join the ISIS. However another IB dossier which was prepared a month back suggested that Armar recruited for the Al-Qaeda as well and even managed to send some youth from him home town in Bhatkal across to Afghanistan. This only shows the mindset of the Indian Mujahideen which wants a piece of the pie in every terrorist outfit. It does not want to antagonize any group and will continue to contribute as per their needs. Sultan Armar who literally runs the IM today was leaning more towards the ISIS until August. However after he found that the Al-Qaeda announced its sub continent wing, he decided that he needs to contribute towards the Al-Qaeda as well. IM's origin and onwards The attack at the Wagah border allegedly by the Jundallah is another grim reminder of the reach that the Indian Mujahideen has got. Jundallah is basically an outfit which was floated first in Iran to fight for the cause of the Sunnis against the Shias. This outfit then tied up with the ISI and then moved towards Pakistan.

It was headed by Hakimullah Mehsud of the Tehrik-e-Taliban until his death. This outfit is a combination of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, Al-Qaeda and its 313 Brigade and also the Indian Mujahideen. The only agenda is to ensure that the Sunnis are on top and this outfit will rope in any organization which shares the same concern. One must not forget that even the ISIS fights against the Shias and this only would mean that they too will join the ranks sooner or later. This is the same outfit which also produced a David Coleman Headley. Sultan Armar during his conversations which have been intercepted also suggested to his forces of fighting alongside the Tehrik-e-Taliban led Jundallah. Indian agencies say that there is a lot on their plate to handle now. It is going to be a long and difficult battle ahead and very soon we will get to see the merging of all these like minded groups and their primary agenda would be the take over of Afghanistan once the West quits.
 

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RIYAZ BHATKAL A NOBODY TODAY
The Indian Mujahideen is a divided house today. Riyaz Bhatkal who was one of the co-founders of the outfit finds himself isolated and the current bandwagon is being headed by Sultan Ahmed Armar. Riyaz who initially wanted the Indian Mujahideen to side with the Al-Qaeda was dumped by other members of the IM as they felt he was just playing along with the ISI which ran nothing but its own agenda.

There are ample chat transcripts to show how the rest of the Indian Mujahideen headed by Armar broke away from Riyaz Bhatkal and dumped his plan of joining the Al-Qaeda. Armar felt that Riyaz was only suggesting an Al-Qaeda tie up because he was asked to do so by the ISI which wanted to ensure that it loses no control over a large number of terror outfits making a clamour for the ISIS and heading towards Afghansitan.

On October 7 2014, Sultan Ahmed Armar the prime recruiter for the ISIS re-christened himself as Maulana Abdul Rehman al-Nadwi al-Hindi and declare support to the Caliphate led by Abu-Bakar Al-Bhagdadi. Sultan Armar who chatted with the id [email protected] with Yasin who used the id [email protected] several times. Armar who was based in Pakistan then used to complain about Riyaz Bhatkal and how his entire agenda was being controlled by the ISI. Both in their chats discussed the possibility of a leadership change and felt that they needed to get together and set up an Indian Mujahideen independent of Riyaz Bhatkal and the ISI.

Another conversation between Riyaz on his chat id [email protected] with Armar pressurizes him into joining the Al-Qaeda. However Armar made it clear that they were keen on joining the battle in Syria with the ISIS instead of the Al-Qaeda.

Yasin Bhatkal during his interrogation accuses Riyaz Bhatkal and the ISI of trying to stop him from joining hands with the forces in Syria. He was to travel to meet Armar in Pakistan where they had decided to float an outfit independent of the ISI and Riyaz. However he got stuck at the Nepal border and there was none to take him from there and in the bargain he got caught by the Indian agencies.

Today the Indian Mujahideen is split into two. While the module set up by Riyaz who has a bare minimum strength in India has not taken off, the break away faction headed by Armar which runs under the banner of the Ansar-ut-Tawhid has made a lot of headway. They are focusing entirely on ISIS related recruiments.

Indian Intelligence Agencies say that Armar will play his cards very safe. If at all he finds that the Al-Qaeda is ready to work alongside the ISIS in the future and show no signs of bending towards an ISI agenda then he will recruit for both the groups as well. However a lot that Armar would plan would depend on the Tehrik-e-Taliban which is part of this group called the Ansar-ut-Tawhid.
 

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