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Home > News > Columnists > B Raman

Al Qaeda and the global Indian

July 04, 2007

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Following the reported arrest of two Indian doctors in the UK and Australia in connection with the two failed attempts of jihadi terrorism in London [Images] on June 28 and June 29, and the half-successful attempt at Glasgow airport on June 30, I have received a number of queries on the involvement of Indian Muslims in the Al Qaeda [Images].

In response to this, I am annexing a Q & A paper written by me.

Attention is specially invited to the following question and answer in the article:

Is there any evidence of support for Al Qaeda in the Indian Muslim diaspora abroad?

Al Qaeda had used a Hindu convert to Islam in the UK (Dhiren Barot al-Hindi) for collecting intelligence about its intended financial targets in the US.

He reportedly visited southern Thailand and India on similar intelligence-collection missions. His family had migrated to the UK from East Africa. He was convicted by a British court last year and sentenced to a long term of imprisonment.

There were also reports last year making similar allegations against a Gujarati Muslim (Haroon Rashid Aswat) born in the UK. He is reportedly in jail in Pakistan. These allegations have not been proved.

There were also reports last year regarding the alleged involvement of some Muslims of Indian origin from the Carribean in jihadi activities in Canada [Images].

It is to be expected that Al Qaeda, through the Pakistani-member organisations of the International Islamic Front, will increasingly look for such recruits in the Indian Muslim diaspora.

The majority of Indian Muslims abroad -- like their counterparts in India -- have kept a distance from extremist and jihadi activities. Hence, they have not been subjected to the same kind of intense surveillance as members of the Pakistani diaspora.

They would, therefore, be tempting assets for recruitment.


B Raman




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