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Bashar: Editor, tutor, preacher & terrorist

Bashar: Editor, tutor, preacher & terrorist

Author: TNN
Publication: The Times of India
Date: August 17, 2008

The name is Mufti Abdul Bashar Kasmi. He's also known as Abdus Suban and Shaukeer and is being called the man behind the wave of terror strikes across India. Though not much was known about the man before his arrest on Saturday, the SIMI activist had appeared on the police radar in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh a few times.

As new facts about Bashar's secret life emerge, it seems that he was the man who funded SIMI's recent terror activities. The Karnataka Police had alerted other states about him some time ago. Bashar's name also cropped up during the interrogation of terror suspects arrested in Karnataka in January 2008. But the 28-year-old from UP remained just a blip on the radar.

Eldest among seven siblings in a poor family, Bashar completed his primary education in Arabic and Urdu from Madrassa Islah in Sarai Meer area of Azamgarh. Giving tuitions in the two languages, Bashar barely earned enough to meet his expenses. With his ailing father unable to make enough money for the whole family, Bashar decided to fend for himself. Two years ago, he left home to take up teaching at a seminary in Hyderabad, where he also worked as editor of a monthly Urdu magazine Nishan-e-Rah (Milestone). Bashar also applied for a diploma course in journalism offered the Maulana Azad National Urdu University but didn't attend classes.

The police suspected Bashar's links with terror elements after he disappeared from Hyderabad in April 2007, a month before the Mecca Masjid bombing.

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