Indian Mujahideen

Ansar Bait al-Maqdis
June 23, 2019
Balochistan Liberation Army
June 23, 2019

The Indian Mujahideen is an Islamic terrorist group led by Abdul Subhan Qureshi who is now under Delhi Police custody.

The Indian Mujahideen was declared a terrorist organisation on 4 June 2010 and banned by the Government of India. On 22 October 2010, New Zealand declared it a terrorist organisation. In September 2011, the United States officially placed the Indian Mujahideen on its list of foreign terrorist organisations, 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. The group was banned by the United Kingdom as it aimed at creating an Islamic state and implementing sharia law in India, by use of indiscriminate violence.

Investigators believe that Indian Mujahideen is one of many groups composed of lower-tier SIMI members. 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 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. Two days after the 13 May 2008 Jaipur bombings, the extremist group sent an e-mail to Indian media in which they claimed responsibility for the attacks and said they would “demolish the faiths (all religions apart from Islam) of the infidels of India.” The biggest and boldest attack to date by the group was the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts, where it gained national notoriety with a casualty count towards 50.

Factionalism

Even though IM came to light in 2008, in the same year it was already seen to have a faction. The 30 October 2008 Assam bombings were claimed by alleged offspring of the IM, Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen, though police were still investigating this link.

Members

It is suspected that these are the major leaders of the Indian group.

  • Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, 36, under arrest: a software engineer from Mumbai; expert in bomb-making and an expert bomber
  • Safdar Nagori, 38, under arrest: architect of the transformation from SIMI to Indian Mujahideen
  • Mufti Abu Bashir, 28, under arrest: a preacher from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh
  • Qayamuddin Kapadia, 28, under arrest: a trader from Vadodara, started the first-ever mosque of the Ahle Hadis Tanzeem in Vadodara
  • Sajid Mansuri, 35, under arrest: a graduate in psychology and formerly a marketing executive
  • Usman Agarbattiwala, sought, 25: a postgraduate diploma holder from Vadodara in human rights
  • Alamzeb Afridi, 24, sought: a jobless youth from Ahmedabad; purchased bicycles and then planted them in Ahmedabad after tying bombs
  • Abdul Razik Mansuri, 27, sought: an embroidery unit owner
  • Mujib Shaikh, 25, sought: a stone polishing artisan
  • Zahid Shaikh, 27, sought: a mobile phone repair shop owner from Ahmedabad
  • Amil Parwaz, sought: a native of Ujjain, believed to be involved in the court bomb blasts in Uttar Pradesh in November 2007
  • Yasin Bhatkal, 30, under arrest: native of Bhatkal in North Karnataka

Delhi group

The local group at Delhi is thought to include the following, most of them from Azamgarh:

  • Mohammad Atif (24) aka Bashir: alleged planner and recruiter, killed in the Batla House, Jamia Nagar encounter on 19 September. Alleged to have planted a bomb at M-block market in Greater Kailash-I, and Varanasi bombs.
  • Mohammad Saif: arrested from Batla House in Jamia Nagar after the 19 September encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Regal Cinema in Connaught Place.
  • Zeeshan: arrested after the Jamia Nagar encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place.
  • Mohammed Sajid (16) aka Pankaj: killed during the Batla House encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place.
  • Junaid: Escaped during the Batla House encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb at M-block market in Greater Kailash-I, and Varanasi bombs.
  • Mohammad Shakeel (24): arrested on 21 September, from Jamia Nagar. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Nehru Place in south Delhi.
  • Zia-ur-Rehman (22): arrested on 21 September, from Jamia Nagar. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Connaught Place and on a cycle in Ahmedabad.
  • Saqib Nisar (23): arrested on 21 September, from Jamia Nagar.
  • Shahzad alias Pappu: arrested, from Azamgarh by UP STF. He escaped during the Jamia Nagar encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb in Central Park, Connaught Place.
  • Alihas Malik: sought. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Central Park, Connaught Place.
  • Mohammad Khalif: sought
  • Arif: sought
  • Salman: arrested by Special Cell

Suspects and arrests

On 28 August 2013, in a major breakthrough, Yasin Bhatkal, co-founder of IM, and another IM terrorist were arrested by Indian Police and NIA near the Indo-Nepal border. According to Gujarat police, the breakthrough in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case came from five ‘switched-off’ mobile phone numbers. Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Ashish Bhatia said that the terrorists had procured five SIM cards of phones that were switched off on the day of the blasts — 26 July. The analysis of the phone calls made to those SIM cards from PCOs provided them the key leads.

The arrest of ten suspects included the leader, Mufti Abu Bashir Ishlahi alias Abdul Wasir, who was arrested with the help of Uttar Pradesh police at his father’s home at Sarai Mir in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh on 14 August 2008.

Bashir studied in the local Madarsatul Islah and later in Deoband in Saharanpur. According to the reports, Bashir claimed that the bombings cost Rs 75,000. A SIMI activist sold his house in Kutch to get the amount.

Bashir, who had stayed in Ahmedabad along with Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, a co-conspirator, had bought five SIM cards using local names and addresses. He had used these cell phone numbers to remain in touch with the other members of the module at the planning stage of the conspiracy. Bashir had given the SIM cards to the bomb planters on 26 July, who had used them carefully. Each member had contacted the others through STD-PCO booths after successfully planting the bombs. These numbers were used only for receiving calls. Many of the calls were from Juhapura, where Zahid Shaikh, one of the key members of the group, lived at Sandhi Avenue near the Sarkhej highway. These numbers had become inactive immediately after the blasts.

The Government also suspects Indian Mujahideen for the two blasts in Hyderabad on 21 February 2013 at 7:01 pm.

Key members of the Indian Mujahideen in Mumbai police custody want to turn approver.

In March 2014, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested four members of IM, out of which one was Waqas alias Javed, a bomb-making expert in the group. They were arrested in Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan.

Ejaz Sheikh, wanted in several cases including a terror strike in Jama Masjid in New Delhi, was arrested on 6 September 2014 from the Saharanpur area of western Uttar Pradesh by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. He is considered a “technical expert” and considered a key member of Indian Mujahideen (IM).

IM aims to establish an Islamic state and implement Sharia law in India using violent means.

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