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Indian Mujahideen is SIMI hardliner

Indian Mujahideen is SIMI hardliner

Author: Pradeep Thakur & Vishwa Mohan
Publication: The Times of India
Date: August 17, 2008

With the Ahmedabad blasts case, sleuths have also successfully cracked the IM code. Indian Mujahideen (IM) is the hardline faction of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) that broke away in 2005 to protest against the moderate faction's diffidence about declaring a full-scale war on India.

Hardliners, led by its general secretary Safdar Nagori, wanted jihad against India on the same lines that al-Qaida was fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, say investigators. Gujarat DGP P C Pande said, "IM is nothing but SIMI activists who were behind the serial blasts in Ahmedabad." He said the hardliners first removed 'I' from SIMI, before opting for only 'IM' as their visiting card.

While the choice of Mujahideen-holy warrior-was in keeping with the group's avowed objective to wage holy war against non-believers, the prefix 'Indian' served the purpose of helping the group's mentor, Pakistan's ISI, claim that it had no role in terror acts in India. The email sent on IM's behalf warning of the terror attack in Ahmedabad minutes before the blasts went great lengths to emphasize that the group had no links with ISI-supported gangs like the LeT and Jaish.

"The Ahmedabad blasts were planned out in the city at the home of one of SIMI activists," said Ashish Bhatia, head of the probe team and joint commissioner of police.

The drift away from the 'moderates' dates to the 90s and was facilitated by the community's anger against Babri demolition. But the complete identification with the objective of global jihad and inflicting "a thousand cuts" took place in the later part of the decade. The rift was complete by 2005.

Fresh evidence of the involvement of SIMI activists, a faction of whom now banded under IM, comes within days of the refusal of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal to extend the ban on the outfit inspired by the Deobandi school of Islamic thought and which was formed in the flush of the success of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979.

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