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Intel: Illegal Bangla immigrants helping terrorists

Intel: Illegal Bangla immigrants helping terrorists

Author: Kingshuk Nag
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 31, 2008

Four days after the Ahmedabad blasts, Bangladesh is emerging as the deadly link to the bloody affair. The connection is not only through the Harkatul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), the Bangladeshbased outfit which is believed to have masterminded the operations in cahoots with SIMI. The link is also through the over two million illegal Bangladeshi immigrants who have crossed over to India in the last three decades.

Intelligence officials believe these illegal Bangladeshis are not only providing a haven to HuJI men but are also extending other services to them, including material required for assembling bombs. ''Although Bangladeshis enter India illegally in search of economic opportunities, some of them get into jihadi activities. If not directly then indirectly,'' said a central intelligence official. These officials say the arc of terror has widened in India because migrants have spread their enclaves to various parts of the country. Starting with border districts of Bengal, Assam and Tripura in the 1980s, Bangladeshis are now in Delhi, Jaipur, Bikaner, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore and Hyderabad.

A former BSF officer believes around 400 Bangladeshis enter India daily through Murshidabad, Malda and Cooch Behar in West Bengal. This makes their number 12,000 a month and 1.5 lakh a year. Most of these illegal migrants are tradesmen: lowend fitters, locksmiths, painters, cutters, welders, rickshaw-pullers, cyclewallahs or labourers. ''These are the sort of persons whose services come in handy for assembling bombs,'' an intelligence official said, adding that the HuJI has deliberately given up the use of RDX to avoid detection.

The Ahmedabad bombs were assembled from gelatine sticks and used potassium and sodium. Shrapnels were put in the improvised bombs. Such stuff can be carried separately without any suspicion. Of course, a timer and detonator was added. ''This is fairly unsophisticated technology which even locally based operatives can put together,'' a source said. This does not mean that educated men are not involved; in fact it's such people who provide ideological basis for terrorism.


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