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Bengaluru serial blast financer held in New Delhi

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: January 27, 2012 13:32 IST
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With the Bengaluru police securing the custody of Sameer, an accused in the 2008 serial blasts in the city, more involvement of the Oman-Kerala and Karnataka links into terrorism has surfaced.  Sameer was apprehended by the airport immigration authorities in New Delhi on Wednesday while he was trying to flee the country.

Sameer is likely to provide information regarding Indian Mujahideen's shadow outfit, Jam-iyyathul Ansar Ul Muslimeen.

When the Bengaluru police commenced their investigations into the serial blasts, they had stumbled upon the Kerala connection. The police were certain that the entire operation was masterminded through the Kerala module which was in contact with another module in Oman.

Although the investigation is still on, the police maintain that Sameer was the financer for the blasts. He is said to have coordinated the transfer of funds between Kerala and Oman and it is also alleged that a part of the funds were routed through Faisalbad in Pakistan.

Sameer is the 24th accused in the serial blasts case, case and his details came out during the interrogation of T Nasir, lashkar-e-Tayiba's south India commander.

Sameer was carrying out his activities through Jamat-i-yyathul Ansarul Muslimeen, a front for the IM.

While at first the members from the Kerala module operated under the IM, they later decided to float the JIAM, as they believed that a new outfit would keep them unnoticed for a considerable amount of time.

The JIAM has been found to be active mostly in Kerala and is linked directly to the modules in Oman in particular. The front headquartered in Kannur involves itself in facilitating transfer of ill-gotten money through hawala, apart from taking part in recruitments and also terrorist activities.

"They have intentionally kept their operations down south and are most likely to focus on activities in this part of the country," said a source.

The Intelligence Bureau however says that the operatives are in one way or the other linked with some key operatives of the IM, such as Riyaz Bhatkal and during the initial part of the operation, interacted heavily with the IM.

Nasir was in fact the first one to mention the existence of the JIAM, since he was also a member. He also spoke about how he had coordinated with Riyaz to carry out the serial blasts and the two had met at a railway station in Kannur for the first time for planning.

However, only a part of the operations of the JIAM are actually known, and the police hope that Sameer's interrogation will be more enlightening.

The cracking of the JIAM code would be a major relief for south India, as the outfit members have repeatedly spoken only of targetting places in this part of the country.

The police have compiled a list with important JIAM operatives such as Mohammed Hussain Farhan, Maulana Sultan Shah, Azam, Jasim, Samir Salim Khan, Wasim, KP Sabir, Mohammed Azhar, Yusuf Shafiq, Raisal PA and Mohammed Shabir.

The members mentioned in this list played a very crucial role in setting up the JIAM and it is believed that they are trying to spread over into other parts of southern India, while maintaining Kerala as their primary base.
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