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'Illegal Bangla migrants aiding terrorists'

'Illegal Bangla migrants aiding terrorists'

Author: Kingshuk Nag
Publication: The Times of India
Date: July 30, 2008
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Illegal_Bangla_migrants_aiding_terrorists/articleshow/3303749.cms

Four days after the Ahmedabad blasts, Bangladesh is emerging as the deadly link to the bloody affair. The connection is not only through the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam (HuJI), the terrorist organization based in Bangladesh which is believed to have masterminded the operations in cahoots with members of the disbanded 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 that these illegal Bangladeshis are not only providing a haven to HuJI operatives 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 believe that the arc of terror has widened in India because, over the years, Bangladeshi migrants have spread their enclaves to various parts of the country. Starting with border districts of West Bengal, Assam and Tripura in the early 1980s, Bangladeshis are now in Delhi, Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad among other places.

A former BSF officer along the Bengal border believes that around 400 Bangladeshis enter India everyday through Murshidabad, Malda and Cooch Behar in West Bengal.

This makes their number around 12,000 a month and almost 1.5 lakh illegal Bangladeshis per year. Most of these illegal migrants are tradesmen: low-end fitters, locksmiths, painters, cutters, welders, rickshaw pullers, cycle wallahs or plain labourers. "These are the sort of persons whose services come in handy for assembling bombs," an intelligence official said, adding that HuJI has purposely given up use of RDX to avoid easy detection before the act."

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 being aroused. 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, however, does not mean that educated individuals are not involved; in fact it's such people who provide ideological basis for terrorism. This is evident from, among other things, the 14 page e-mail document they sent minutes before the first blast in Ahmedabad. The document titled, 'The Rise of Jihad, Revenge of Gujarat', goes on to display awareness about many happenings in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh and even the terminology used by Narendra Modi such as Gujarat's asmita (pride).

HuJI's main aim is to establish an Islamic state in Bangladesh and assist in the formation of an international Islamic Caliphate. It has wide contacts with international Islamic terror groups especially in Pakistan.

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