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'If the Taliban needed men, we wanted to be available'

August 22, 2014 14:21 IST

Safdar Nagori, SIMI's notorious face, told investigators how he trained his terrorists on the lines of the Taliban. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

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.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru