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Meet the educated, tech-savvy terrorist

Last updated on: February 23, 2008 14:17 IST

The arrest of Yahya Khan Kammukutty at Bangalore, a software engineer, has only gone to show that more and more persons with very good education are falling into the terror web.

Gone are the days when the suppressed and the poor were taking up arms.

It is no longer about committing a crime for the want of money or to support a family. Terrorism of today is becoming more ideology-based and sadly the ideology is being wrongly interpreted.

Over the years there have been a number of educated youths who have been falling prey to terrorism. Techies, doctors and engineers have all taken the terror route under the guise of safeguarding their religion

The face of terror has changed in Karnataka with more and more educated youths choosing terrorism as a full time profession.

There have been several persons with very strong educational backgrounds who have been picked for terrorist activities.

The first arrest of an educated youth in connection with a terror link was that of Sheikh Muzammil.

Muzammil, working as a software engineer in Bangalore, was picked up in connection with the Malegaon blasts.

It was said that he was part of the crime and his brother Sheikh Fazal was an Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative.

Then came the shocking revelation of two Bangalore-based boys being involved in the UK terror plot.

Kafeel Ahmed, an engineer with a brilliant academic record, was picked up in the UK in connection with the Glasgow airport bombing incident.

Barely a day after his name started doing the rounds, his brother Sabeel Ahmed, a doctor, was picked up on the grounds that he had concealed information about the plot.

Their cousin Haneef Mohammad, a doctor, was also picked up in Australia in connection with the same case, but he was released later for want of evidence.

However, till date both Kafeel and Sabeel have not been linked to any major terror outfit and it is believed that the terror plot in the UK was planned by Kafeel and another aide of his from Iraq.

The three recent arrests in Karnataka also involve boys with good educational background.

Asadulla and Asif are both doctors and they were picked up on the ground that they were planning terror strikes in Karnataka along with Nasir, who the police say is the man who planted the bomb at Lumbini Park in Hyderabad on August 25, 2007, in which several persons lost their lives.

Nasir, however, was not an educated youth and was working as a cook at the residence of Asadulla.

Now, the arrest of Yayha Khan, a software engineer, has put the police in a bind.

The investigation strategy takes a dramatic turn from here and there will be more focus on the educated youths in Karnataka.

Apart from obtaining information from the arrested persons, the police will also keep a tight vigil on activities that take place in educational institutions in Karnataka.

The police have already begun questioning classmates of these persons and also their accomplices.

It is said that terror outfits prefer recruiting educated youths over uneducated ones.

First and foremost, these persons are tech savvy and are able to plan better.

Apart from this, these youths are given CDs containing jihadi material and repeated viewing of such material brainwashes them.

Terror outfits are also planning cyber terrorism in a big way and the only way to execute this is with the help of educated youths.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore