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IM's tieup with Jandullah latest worry for Indian security agencies

By A Correspondent
November 03, 2014 14:33 IST
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Nearly 30 IM members are an active part of the terror group behind the suicide attack at Wagah, which is worrying Indian security agencies, reports a correspondent.

Jandullah, which has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack along the Wagah border in Pakistan on Sunday which killed 55 people, is the latest wake-up call from across the border for Indian security agencies.

A terrorist group based out of Pakistan, Jandullah is commanded by the Tehrik-e-Taliban and affiliates of the Al Qaeda, and why the Indian agencies need to be worried is because several members of the Indian Mujahideen are also part of this outfit.

As per estimates the Intelligence Bureau has been able to draw, there are nearly 30 members of the Indian Mujahideen who are part of the Jandullah.

Jandullah began as an outfit fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. Based out of Balochistan, it was responsible for various terrorist strikes and was declared a terrorist outfit by the United States on November 3, 2010. It has a Pakistan outfit as well which was commanded by Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Tehrik-e-Taliban who was killed in a drone strike on November 1, 2013.

Sunday’s attack at the Wagah is believed to be in retaliation for his death and also operation Zarb-e-Azb which was launched to target terrorists in North Waziristan.

Indian security agencies believe that the Wagah attack has a larger message and with the TT being involved in it, New Delhi must be on the lookout.

The Jandullah has several splinter groups attached to it, including the Ansar-ul-Tawhid, Asian Tigers, Jundul Hafsa and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al-Alami.

During his questioning Indian Mujahideen’s Yasin Bhatkal had spoken about his fallout with Riyaz Bhatkal, pointing out several aspects for this. Riyaz was keen the Indian Mujahideen stayed on with the Al Qaeda but Yasin felt that they were being used. This led to a fallout and the IM eventually cosied up to the Tehrik-e-Taliban and the ISIS.

Details of the conversations between Indian Mujahideen operatives, including their primary recruiter Sultan Ahmed Armar, would suggest that the outfit was cosying up to the Tehrik-Taliban in a big way under the banner of the Ansar-ul-Tawhid.

Agencies further point out that the Jandullah, which has made the fight for Sunnis its primary agenda, shares the same agenda as the ISIS. This was one of the primary reasons why the two outfits came together along with the Indian Mujahideen to form the Ansar-ul-Tawhid.

Audacious attacks such as the one at Wagah are carried out to provide oxygen for the cadres. In particular, the latest attack will appeal to the Indian Mujahideen, which is attempting to break away from its home-grown image and contribute to the global jihad cause.

Indian security agencies say the Indian Mujahideen’s association with the Jandullah had come up on their radar when they were picking up intercepts on a regular basis. The IM has been in touch with the TT for some time now in a bid to break away from Pakistan’s ISI and also outgrow its home-grown image.

When the Indian Mujahideen teamed up with the Tehrik-e-Taliban, it had decided that the battle would primarily be about establishing the caliphate with the ISIS as the head. It decided that the entire agenda would not just be anti-West but also to set up a very strong base in Kashmir.

An IB official said the basic agenda was to create a base for the ISIS which has plans of a global Islamic council. In the Kashmir context, the Jandullah not only has the support of the Indian Mujahideen but also the Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami Alami.

The recent display of ISIS flags in Kashmir thus is something the agencies are not brushing under the carpet, but regard it not as an incident of just misguided youth waving flags.

Image: A Pakistani man is being comforted by others while mourning the death of a relative who was killed in the suicide bomb attack in Wagah border near Lahore on November 2, 2014. Photograph: Mani Rana/Reuters.

Also read:

No retreat ceremony at Wagah for 3 days, BSF on high alert

55 killed, 200 wounded in suicide attack at Wagah border in Pakistan

The dangerous ISIS has its eyes on India


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A Correspondent in New Delhi