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Terror outfits find fewer recruits: IB

Vicky Nanjappa | July 07, 2008 11:35 IST

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Safdar Nagori, chief of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India who was arrested last December, revealed during his interrogation and narco-analysis tests that ordinary Muslims are disenchanted with the concept of religious war being espoused by radical clerics and terrorist outfits.

Statistics with the Intelligence Bureau show that the number of Muslim youth being recruited into terror outfits have declined in the past year. From about 80 to 100 a year, the figure has come down to 30 to 40, IB sources said.

The IB says there are two reasons for this -- one, greater awareness about the dangers of terrorism among the community; the other being the massive crackdown on terror outfits by security agencies.

Nagori, who was arrested in Indore, disclosed during his narco-analysis test last month that he too has become disenchanted with jihad.

During the initial portion of his narco-analysis test, Nagori speaks about how he tried to strengthen SIMI, the setting up of the Shaheen Force, an all-woman unit, and also about the split within SIMI.

IB officials, who interrogated Nagori, told that he seems to have become disillusioned with jihad a few months before his arrest. Nagori reportedly told his interrogators that he had even planned to quit SIMI.

During his narco-analysis, he said SIMI has provided manpower to both the Harkat-ul-Jihadi and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba over the past four years.

Muslim clerics say the feeling that terrorist outfits are misinterpreting Islam has always existed; it is just that the community is now more vocal about discussing this feeling.

An imam at a Bengaluru mosque says, "Islam does not preach violence. The people who propagate jihad are no jihadis. The youth have started to realise this as they see so many innocent people being killed. They have started to denounce this violence strongly."

Another cleric, who did not wish to be named for this report, said more Muslims have started realising that the youth are being taken for a ride and are stressing that suicide bombings are anti-Islam.

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