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How the Indian Mujahideen has regrouped

December 08, 2010 09:58 IST

There is much talk about the re-grouping of the Indian Mujahideen which continued its tradition of sending out an email after a blast. A similar letter was also sent out after a shootout outside the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi a couple of days before the Commonwealth Games.

While investigators continue to study the pattern and the motives behind these incidents, a new yet disturbing trend that is cropping is that these attacks are being carried out by low level operatives of the Indian Mujahideen. Both the above mentioned incidents show that the attacks were not sophisticated in nature and did not cause the kind of impact which terror attacks generally do.

The biggest operation that the IM had carried out were the back to back blasts at Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and
Delhi
. (Operation BAD). Following this there was a massive crackdown on their operatives such as Mansoor Pheerbhoy, Abdul Subhan, who were appointed by former Students Islamic Movement of India chief, Safdar Nagori.

While Subhan managed to escape, Pheerbhoy was taken into custody. While the top rung was decimated to a large extent, there still remained people such as Riyaz Bhatkal and Salman who carried the organisation forward. However after the blasts at Pune, the heat on these Salman and Bhatkal grew forcing Bhatkal to leave the country. Salman then became the most important person in the IM, but was nabbed while trying to leave the country
. In addition to this, there was also a directive to Amir Reza, one of the founders of the IM, to stay underground since the numerous dossiers India sent to Pakistan post 26/11 name him as an accused.

These arrests and breaking down of the various modules of the IM created a huge vaccum within the group. In addition to this there was also a huge crackdown on their modules in Pune and Uttar Pradesh.

Intelligence Bureau officials told rediff.com that the top rung of the IM have a lot of sympathisers and well wishers, people who believe that their 'role models' have been wronged by the Indian security agencies.

Even as there is a strategy being planned out in Pakistan to revamp the IM, the second rung of this group comprising of rookies has decided to come together and carry the outfit forward.

According to the IB, this group does not enjoy the patronage that the the earlier modules did. They are constantly trying to carry out attacks in order to get noticed.

The ISI is yet to show keen interest in this group and feels that the rookies lack the sophistication to carry out major attacks.

The IB says that this fringe group within the IM will continue trying to shake up the security system and with whatever little skills they have by undertaking such operations.

If one reads the mail that are sent out by them, it focusses largely on emotive issues such as the Batla House encounter, the Babri Masjid demolition and the
Kashmir
issue, which is a sign of desperation to garner local support.

This rookie splinter group is directionless and lacks the sophistication that their bosses had. Their networking is not as good and they do not have access to sophisticated machinery to carry out a major attack.

Under the garb of seeking revenge on half a dozen issues, this fringe group's major intention is the grab the attention of the ISI, so that they help them grow into a bigger outfit. However the ISI on the other hand has other plans and has roped in Shafiq Khafa to build up the Lashkar's Indian module.

The ISI has roped in these men and has asked them to open up fresh modules and have a new outfit on the lines of the old Indian Mujahideen which had carried out a series of deadly attacks in
India. The revamp of a home grown module would rely heavily on the modules of the HuJI which is strong in areas of UP and in addition to this they would also look to create new modules in the rest of India.

Vicky Nanjappa