The National Investigating Agency was attending to a very important task last week when three blasts rocked Mumbai city. The NIA was studying the modus operandi and the regrouping of the Indian Mujahideen, which is the prime suspect in the investigations today.
Indian Intelligence Bureau officials had been issuing warnings informing that there was a lot of activity in the modules of the Indian Mujahideen. After the recent arrests of IM operatives a lot of fringe elements of this group had spread out across the country. Most of them had been in touch with their senior members who had fanned out to countries like the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.
However, more importantly the outfit had been using various names to stage a come back. IB officials say that Bullet 313 is one such outfit, while another is the Jamat Ansarul Muslimeen. According to the IB, this is just another wing of the IM and has been carrying out activities mainly in Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and to a certain extent in Karnataka. This was styled very much on the lines of the Jammat-ud-Dawa/Lashkar-e-Tayiba combine, say officials.
Investigators are now closely studying whether this front had any role to play in the recent serial blasts case. We are studying and investigating every possible angle, an investigating officer said when asked about this new front of the IM.
The IM was planning was to have another outfit covering for them, so that the heat remained low on them. The IM basically never wanted the names of this group to come out and wanted it to be a front to collect funds and also carry out recruitments on the sly.
However, prior to these serial blasts, the NIA had gone deep into the network of the IM and it was at that time did the real picture of the JAM come to light. This front was active in some states and activities were being carried out on a smaller scale. IM operatives realised that operating under the original name was deterring their activities and hence such a front had been launched.
A major part of the IM did manage to regroup under this banner and to a large extent funds too were raised through this outfit.
The IM was looking for a major overhaul ever since its activities were curbed by the police force across the country. The first thing they did in this direction was to create a new name for their outfit and called it the Bullet 313 brigade. They then created JAM as a shadow organisation to throw the investigators off track. To an extent it has worked out well for them if the police do manage to finally ascertain that the serial blasts was the handiwork of the IM.
IB reports suggest that members of the JAM have been trying to activate their network in other parts of the country and smaller modules for the IM had already been created across the country. A large part of this organisation includes old timers of the IM who have not been under the scrutiny of the police as yet. They have been throwing in newer members to carry forward their activities, an officer in the NIA said.
However, these men are under the direct control of the key IM operatives who are outside the country today and these include the likes of the Bhatkal brothers, Mohsin Chaudhary and Muddasir Yasin.
In the days to come there is bound to be a clash between these terror groups and investigators, because every time a case has been cracked a newer outfit emerges. This is a sort of a cat and mouse game says the IB. The creation of new groups is done with an intention of creating a diversion. However, what has been ascertained is that it would be the IM which is the major threat to internal security and this would be the face of homegrown jihad. Newer outfits and names would emerge from the IM which would continue to be the feeder outfit for all new ventures in the future.
Security agencies also say that the most wanted IM operatives continue to be off the radar and nabbing them becomes extremely crucial at the moment. Post these serial blasts the names that the police have put out are:
Iqbal Bhatkal, Riyaz Bhatkal,, Ahmed Yasin, Mudassir Yasin alias Saif , Mujeeb, Alamzeb Afridi, Manzar Imamuddin Khan, Azhar, Yusuf, Sabir, Mohammad Shabir, Shafiq, Hussain Farhan, Samir Salim Khan, Wasim, Ariz Khan alias Junaid, Mirza Shahdab Baig, Sajid Bada, Shahnawaz Alam, Asadullah Akhtar, Abdus Subhan, Farhan and Mohsin Chaudhary.
All these men have been absconding since the heat on the IM had been turned on by the police across the country.