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The Indian Mujahideen is on a recruitment spree

September 10, 2012 11:21 IST

The Indian Mujahideen is out to resurrect the outfit by dumping former cadres of the Students Islamic Movement of India and starting recruitments afresh, the Delhi police have warned.

In the recently concluded meet of the state police chief's held in New Delhi, the Indian Mujahideen topped the agenda of discussion

The Indian Mujahideen is without doubt India's deadliest outfits today, the police were told and each and every state in the country has been told to keep a watch on the activities of the group.

Looking at the latest dossier on the Indian Mujahideen, it becomes clear that the outfit is not entirely operating on Indian soil.

Earlier, the entire leadership was in India and was a home grown outfit, which relied heavily on former cadres of the SIMI. However, today there is a shift in that pattern.

The IM has deliberately decided to leave out former cadres of the SIMI, as the police and the intelligence have a file on each former SIMI member

The recent assassination plot that was busted by the Bengaluru police shows that there is a pattern and there are many youths in the country, troubled by the often-used motivation of atrocities.

These youths are fresh faces and have had no connection with any other group; the IM is looking for such persons to take into their fold, a Delhi Police officer said.

The other significant development is that they have moved their command base out of India. They are now relying heavily on middle-eastern countries. Moreover, there has also been substantial proof to show that funds are being routed through these countries and the pick up points of the IM have managed to circulate it around.

What is most worrying is that they are styling themselves exactly on the lines of a big international group. They were setting up an arms manufacturing unit in Delhi before it was busted. They are attempting similar operations in Maharashtra and Karnataka.

They have a media cell, a charity unit, an extortion wing and a very strong cyber cell -- features that have been characteristics of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, which is considered to be IM's mother unit.

The Intelligence Bureau warns that the problematic areas are Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Bihar and Gujarat.

There are signs to show that there has been activity in these states. The funds are, however, dropping in at Kerala only from where it is distributed to other states.

There are many so-called charitable organisations, especially in Kerala which have acted as collection points for the IM.

An IB official says that off-late they have found that the largest number of cadres have been picked up from Pune and Mangalore. There have been a spate of low intensity blasts in the recent past and these are just signs of telling the agencies that they are very much around and also such sort of attacks does attract new cadres into their fold.

The low intensity blasts are not something that one must take lightly. It does appear that the group has no expertise left in it and these are acts of desperation. It could well be a ploy to distract the agencies, who are being made to believe that the outfit is no longer strong.

In fact, what the agencies have found is that every time there is a low intensity blast, the funding has gone up and newer recruits have joined the IM. 

The other approach adopted by the IM is what has left the agencies wondering about their new modus operandi. They are relatively quiet after an operation and unlike the previous attacks of three years back they have not sent out mails or proudly proclaimed that they are behind it. These are all distraction tactics, the IB points out.

The command structure of the IM remains pretty much the same. Riyaz Bhatkal is believed to have escaped to the United Arab Emirates and are said to be guiding operations from there.

Yasin Bhatkal, who is now wanted by the police, is still in India and is taking care of the operations over here. Abdus Subhan, who was a tech genius in the IM, is said to be in Pakistan, but his role in the IM is not very visible at the moment.

Vicky Nanjappa