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This article was first published 9 years ago  » News » SIMI plans to make the most of IM's downfall

SIMI plans to make the most of IM's downfall

By Vicky Nanjappa
May 30, 2014 14:34 IST
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With the Indian Mujahideen in shambles, the Students Islamic Movement of India plans to occupy its space and become a proxy for the Taliban or Al Qaeda, reports Vicky Nanjappa.

Ab Modi teri baari (Modi, now it is your turn)' -- this slogan from 18 members of SIMI outside a court in Bhopal on May 19, alerted security agencies about a possible threat to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

SIMI activists, led by Abu Faisal, who were in court for a hearing on terror-related cases, also hailed the Taliban. For the last seven years, all major incidents of home-grown terrorism have been attributed to the Indian Mujahideen. With several IM leaders captured in recent months, that organisation is in shambles.

The slogans against Modi heard outside the Bhopal court have been attributed to two factors -- one, that SIMI trying to make itself noticed, and two, an attempt to rally its cadres and hit at the Modi government.

Faisal, in his interrogation, told the police that he had lots of plans.

“We want to gain as much attention on an international scale. We had planned on taking Americans as hostages too. Our major plan was to break into Sabarmati jail and free our chief Safdar Nagori,” he told his interrogators.

He told the police that he had planned to enter Gujarat some time next month with a team of nearly 30 operatives, engage the security personnel in a gun battle, blow up the walls and secure the release of their leader.

“We were confident of this operation because we had successfully executed the jailbreak at Khandwa jail on October 2, 2013,” he said.

Faisal's interrogation revealed that that this module of the terror group acts independently and does not report to the ISI. It is a conscious decision, since they would prefer to be associated with the Taliban or the Al Qaeda. SIMI finds the interference by ISI unwelcome, and many of them believe that the ISI is not vocal against Americans who are in Afghanistan. In fact, the ISI tries and prevents any direct confrontation with the United States.

According to the Intelligence Bureau, SIMI stands a chance once US forces leave Afghanistan. For, after the West moves out, the Al Qaeda and the Taliban will try and gain control in the region. India, on the other hand, would want engagement in Afghanistan. This is when SIMI feels it could come in handy, and believes it could act as a proxy in India to the Al Qaeda or the Taliban. 

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Vicky Nanjappa
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