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Is HuJI training women for suicide attacks?

May 23, 2012 12:46 IST

There have been many reports in the past to show how terrorist outfits have preferred recruiting women into their fold in order carry out subversive activities. It was the Al Qaeda and the Lashkar-e-Tayiba which had started using women for their activities and most of the times it was seen that these women acted as carriers. Vicky Nanjappa reports.

However, the Indian Intelligence Bureau points out that even the Harkat-ul Jihad Islami has been adapting similar tactics.

The Bangladesh-based HuJI which operates largely in Bihar, West Bengal and the north eastern states has been conducting meetings to recruit women according to an Intelligence Bureau report.

The recent busting of the various modules of the Indian Mujahideen in these areas has also added to the problem for the HuJI as there appears to be a lot of scrutiny of the activities on the border.

Hence, the HuJI decided to change its game plan and has decided to recruit women and also train them in order to carry out terror activities in India. The HuJI already has a lot of camps in India. In addition to this it has a dedicated set of touts who help ferry across their cadres between Bangladesh and India.

The first clue of the HuJi recruiting women for its operations came to light during the interrogation of Mufti Ibrahim who was held for attempting to assassinate Bangladesh Prime Minister Shaikh Hasina. It was he who made it known to the police that HuJI was recruiting women on a large scale. He claimed that the new recruits would be used to plant bombs and in suicide missions in Bangladesh and India.

Based on this information the IB launched an operation of its. It found that the HuJI was conducting meetings in both Bihar and West Bengal in areas where the number of illegal settlements are high.

They have been luring young women with money to get them into their outfit and luring them to get into their outfit. According to IB sources, the girls that are being recruited are in the age group of 20-25.

The recruitment of women has often been spoken about in terror circles. Each terror group has favoured having women in their organisation, but their use in operations has not been tested to the fullest as yet.

The IB says that even in local terror modules the use of women has been explored, but they have really not been able to push them on to the field for now. Only the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was able to use women in their operations to the fullest and they have had a success rate.

However, it may be a while before these terror groups actually send out women in their full strength as they still consider it to be their trump card and would like to keep the surprise element alive when they use them in a big way.

However an official in the intelligence says that it is worrying factor. There have been many indications of women being recruited and it is not something that can be taken lightly as there are no direct instances to show that they have been used for what they have been trained.

Women have been found to be used to circulate fake currency. In Hyderabad there was an instance to show the growth of a Shaheen force run by the Students Islamic Movement of India. The main job of this force was not to take part directly in operations, but to recruit youth into the force.

However groups such as the LeT and the HuJI would use them for bigger operations and that is something that needs to be monitored. Moreover, they are also aware that there is plenty of heat on the male cadres when they move across borders and the checking when it comes to a woman is much less.

This is advantageous for them and they are likely to use this to the fullest. The IB warns that there are several dedicated routes through which a lot of human trafficking takes place and these terror groups are most likely to use that route.
Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru