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40 ‘missing’ youth in IM’s ‘jihad factory’?

Author: Vishwa Mohan
Publication: The Times of India
Date: September 12, 2012
URL: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/40-missing-youth-in-IMs-jihad-factory/articleshow/16359881.cms

Calling Indian Mujahideen (IM) a "start to finish jihad factory", security agencies have asked the country's police brass to watch out for the banned terror outfit, which continues to be on a "talent scouting" spree, emboldened by tacit support of Pakistan's ISI and its labyrinthine networks in various cities of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala and Delhi.

 Referring to 40 "missing" youth of Maharashtra, who might have gone underground after joining IM, the central agencies during last week's security conference asked top cops to look for their whereabouts. It is suspected that some of the youth might have joined the outfit during its routine recruitment drive.

 While "innocuous religious platforms" like Quran Foundation, Pune; and Islamic Guidance Centre, Mangalore, among other similar institutions are happy hunting ground for its cadres, IM's primary targets are disenchanted Muslim youth —ranging from petty criminals to well-heeled software professionals.

 The agencies, in their presentation on IM, noted that recruitment of IT professional Mansoor Ali Mohammed Peerbhoy was a prized catch for the outfit. He was enlisted while he studying Arabic in Pune's Quran Foundation.

 Peerbhoy, a Yahoo executive-turned-media chief of IM, who was arrested in 2008, had lured a number of educated youth to IM's fold. Recruitments of Arif Badar, IED assembly and micro-chip based timer expert, and Mobin, internet hacking expert, were cited as cases in point of how budding talents were identified and trained as terrorists through fiery and emotive taqrirs (speeches) and attitude hardening dars (lessons).

 It was noted that "brainwashing through doctored pictorials and videos, such as, that of Godhra and Babri Masjid incidents" was very common in taqrirs and dars.

 Use of social networking sites for sending personalized messages and motivating vulnerable youth had also come to the notice of investigating agencies, prompting them to suggest setting up "massive and sophisticated surveillance infrastructure" in the country.

 The presentation, drawing details from Delhi Police's dossier on the outfit, says IM doesn't have a defined structure. Its top leaders run the show from safe havens not only in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia but also in Nepal and the UAE (Dubai and Sharjah).

 IM, which was set up by Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) to project to the world that Islamic terrorism in India is homegrown, has "substantial corpus of money" having funding sources based in Kuwait, Riyadh, Chicago and various cities in Pakistan.

 The outfit had carried out a number of attacks in several Indian cities, including Jaipur, Delhi, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune.

 Besides, officials suspect that the terror outfit could be involved in other blasts like in Varanasi (December, 2010), Delhi HC (May 25, 2011) and Pune (August 1, 2012) — all of which are being investigated.

Though IM came to notice for the first time when it sent e-mail to media houses ahead of serial blasts in Faizabad, Lucknow and Varanasi in UP in November, 2007, its genesis - the note says - goes back to 2000. At that time, IM was largely involved in talent spotting, motivation and training of Indian youth in LeT and ISI facilities to lend credence to the "homegrown terror" concept.
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