Sunday, September 14, 2008

Multiple blasts rock Delhi, 21 killed

Multiple blasts rock Delhi, 21 killed

September 13, 2008

Five blasts rocked New Delhi on Saturday evening, killing 21 persons and injuring over 90 persons, according to Delhi Police Commissioner Yudhvir Singh Dhadwal.

The Indian Mujahideen , the shadow amalgam of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India and Lashker-e-Taiba, claimed responsibility for the serial blasts through an email sent to news organisations at almost the same time as the serial blasts.

Two people were detained from Connaught Place area soon after the blasts.
The blasts at Ghaffar market in Karol Bagh, at Connaught Place and Greater Kailash took place in quick succession, the police said. The first blast took place at Ghaffar market in which at least 20 people were injured. They were rushed to the nearby Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital.

Immediately after that, two explosions took place in Connaught Place, in which at least 10 people were injured. Another explosion rocked M-Block market in Greater Kailash-I.
The first blast took place at 6:30 pm. The bomb was placed in a dustbin in a parking lot outside Grover's Enterprises, a local shop. The blast caused panic among the shoppers and the shopkeepers downed their shutters.

The second blast occurred 10 minutes later at the Prince Paan shop. The second blast was a higher intensity blast than the rest. "These are low intensity blasts which appear to be designed to cause mischief rather than loss of life," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) H G S Dhaliwal.

The impact of the blasts in Karol Bagh could be gauged by the fact that an auto was thrown up and got caught in the electrical wires. In Ghaffar market, the explosive was believed to have been kept near a Maruti car. Several vehicles were badly damaged due to the impact of the blast.

In Barakhamba Road, one of the bombs was suspected to be placed near Nirmal tower. The second blast in CP took place near Gopal Das Bhavan and the third one in central park. At least eight people were injured in these two blasts.

The Union government was warned by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi that New Delhi could be the next target of the terrorists.

Interrogation of those arrested by the Gujarat police in connection with the Ahmedabad and Surat blasts had revealed that the national capital was on the radar of the Students Islamic Movement of India.

The phone lines in Connaught Place have been jammed and the metro rail services have been stopped. Meanwhile, three live bombs were recovered in the national capital, one near India Gate and two at Connaught Place, said the police.

The next-of-kin of the victims will be given a compensation of Rs eight lakh--Rs five lakh by the Delhi government and Rs three lakh by the

Monday, March 10, 2008


Praveen Swami,

Within Kerala, politics has contributed to the empowerment of Islamists


One morning 17 years ago, C.A.M. Basheer walked into work at Mumbai’s international airport and handed in his resignation.

Since then, he has become one of India’s most-wanted terrorists: a key figure the Islamist terror networks that have, since 2003, struck cities across southern India. Basheer’s story raises a critical question: why residents of States with no history of large-scale communal pogroms, like Kerala and Karnataka, are contributing cadre to Islamist terror groups.

Born into a middle-class family from Aluva, Basheer was an improbable Islamist. After finishing his studies at the Aeronautical Engineering College in Chalakudy, he joined a flight training institute in Bangalore. He then moved to Mumbai, and encountered the movement that would transform his life: the Students Islamic Movement of India.

In 1990, angered by the religious discrimination he encountered in Mumbai, Basheer joined SIMI full-time. A year later, he helped organise one of its largest-ever rallies, at the Bandra Reclamation grounds in Mumbai, where more than 10,000 supporters gathered. And after the demolition of the Babri Masjid 1992, Basheer joined the ranks of SIMI radicals calling for violence.

After SIMI was proscribed in 2001, Basheer played a critical role in ensuring funding for the terror cells it had began to spawn, drawing on connections in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Cash channelled to an old SIMI comrade-in-arms, Saqib Nachan, is thought to have paid for the 2003 serial bombings in Mumbai.

“God’s Own Country,” as Kerala’s tourism advertisements call it, hasn’t seen a terrorist strike — an exception among the major southern States. But Islamist groups are gaining both followers and influence. Last year, the State government said SIMI now operates through twelve front organisations, mainly in the districts of Malappuram and Kondotty.

Most of these front organisations aren’t directly linked to SIMI. Groups like the Tahreeek Tahaffuz-e-Sha’aire Islam [Movement for the Protection of Islamic Symbols and Monuments], the Muslim Youth Forum or the Karuna Foundation do however help propagate chauvinist Salafi-sect ideologues who advocate violence, and provide a forum for SIMI talent-scouts.

Over the years, SIMI has had not a little success in funnelling recruits to terrorist groups, notably the Lashkar-e-Taiba. Kamakutty, a computer engineer-turned terrorist held in Bangalore last month, is known to have worked closely with Lashkar commander Muhammad Faisal Khan, a key organiser of bombings in Mumbai during 2002-2003.

Hard questions

How does one account for the growth of Islamist terror networks in Kerala? One important point is that most of SIMI’s key leaders in Kerala worked or studied elsewhere — thus encountering communal discrimination of an intensity unknown in the State itself. Highly educated, their access to the internet enables them to link local grievances to the larger, global jihadist movement.

Within Kerala itself, politics has contributed to the empowerment of Islamists. In recent years, the Jamaat-e-Islami’s traditional control of Muslim votes in north Kerala has weakened, as the Left has taken control of the region. Religious neo-conservatism has been seen by some Jamaat-e-Islami ground-level leaders as a means of fighting the secular tide.

Islamist groups have been able to market their religious message as an answer to the problems of young people, like drugs and alcoholism. Parents often welcome their operations, believing their wards’ religious interests keep them safe from modern vices. Elements of Kerala’s West Asia-based Muslim diaspora have often unwittingly funded these enterprises.

In the imagination of Kerala Islamists, SIMI-linked terrorists are inheritors of an unbroken line of Islamist resistance dating back to struggles against Portuguese imperialism. Recruits are told of Zayn-ad-Din, a Malabar coast resident who in his 1580 book, Tuhfat al-Mujahideen, called on “the Faithful to undertake a jihad against the worshippers of the Cross.”

Kerala jihadists, with their close link to the worldwide Salafi-jihadi movement, claim their struggle forms part of the same tradition. Kerala’s government is alive to the threat. Last year, clashes between Islamists and Hindu fundamentalists in Malappuram led police to make several hundred arrests. But the resilience of SIMI’s networks shows no quick-fix solution exists to the growing problem.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Meet the Educated, Tech-Savvy Terrorist

Meet the educated, tech-savvy terrorist

The arrest of Yahya Khan Kammukutty at Bangalore, a software engineer, has only gone to show that more and more persons with very good education are falling into the terror web. Gone are the days when the suppressed and the poor were taking up arms.

It is no longer about committing a crime for the want of money or to support a family. Terrorism of today is becoming more ideology-based and sadly the ideology is being wrongly interpreted.

Over the years there have been a number of educated youths who have been falling prey to terrorism. Techies, doctors and engineers have all taken the terror route under the guise of safeguarding their religion.

The face of terror has changed in Karnataka with more and more educated youths choosing terrorism as a full time profession.

There have been several persons with very strong educational backgrounds who have been picked for terrorist activities.

The first arrest of an educated youth in connection with a terror link was that of Sheikh Muzammil. Muzammil, working as a software engineer in Bangalore, was picked up in connection with the Malegaon blasts. It was said that he was part of the crime and his brother Sheikh Fazal was an Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative.

Then came the shocking revelation of two Bangalore-based boys being involved in the UK terror plot. Kafeel Ahmed, an engineer with a brilliant academic record, was picked up in the UK in connection with the Glasgow airport bombing incident. Barely a day after his name started doing the rounds, his brother Sabeel Ahmed, a doctor, was picked up on the grounds that he had concealed information about the plot. Their cousin Haneef Mohammad, a doctor, was also picked up in Australia in connection with the same case, but he was released later for want of evidence.

However, till date both Kafeel and Sabeel have not been linked to any major terror outfit and it is believed that the terror plot in the UK was planned by Kafeel and another aide of his from Iraq.

The three recent arrests in Karnataka also involve boys with good educational background.

Asadulla and Asif are both doctors and they were picked up on the ground that they were planning terror strikes in Karnataka along with Nasir, who the police say is the man who planted the bomb at Lumbini Park in Hyderabad on August 25, 2007, in which several persons lost their lives.

Nasir, however, was not an educated youth and was working as a cook at the residence of Asadulla.

Now, the arrest of Yayha Khan, a software engineer, has put the police in a bind. The investigation strategy takes a dramatic turn from here and there will be more focus on the educated youths in Karnataka.

Apart from obtaining information from the arrested persons, the police will also keep a tight vigil on activities that take place in educational institutions in Karnataka.

The police have already begun questioning classmates of these persons and also their accomplices.

It is said that terror outfits prefer recruiting educated youths over uneducated ones. First and foremost, these persons are tech savvy and are able to plan better.

Apart from this, these youths are given CDs containing jihadi material and repeated viewing of such material brainwashes them.

Terror outfits are also planning cyber terrorism in a big way and the only way to execute this is with the help of educated youths.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Feb 22 10:40 AM Bangalore:

A suspected terrorist Mohammed Yahya Kammakutty belonging to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) has been arrested by the Bangalore Police. The arrest was made by the Corps of Detectives (CoD) of Bangalore Police on Thursday from the Gurappanapallya area of Bangalore. But some of his associates managed to escape. The suspect is a native of Kerala and had worked with GE Software. Sources in the police say he is an electrical engineer. He was, however, unemployed for the past few months after GE sacked him last year. Yahya has now been taken to Hubli and will be produced in a court there. Police also seized a hard drive and bank account details like passbooks from him.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Militants threaten to blow up Delhi Akshardham temple

Militants threaten to blow up Delhi Akshardham temple

January 04, 2008 18:41 IST

Security at the Akshardham temple in New Delhi was beefed up on Friday after the police received intelligence inputs that Kashmiri militants planned to blow it up.

"Some militants belonging to Kashmir-based groups were planning to blow up the temple," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Alok Kumar said.

He did not specify which group was planning to carry out the attack. Following the input, the police have deployed more personnel at the temple on the banks of Yamuna in east Delhi, visited by thousands of people every day.

The Akshardham temple has recently made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for being the world's largest Hindu temple complex.

The temple is spread over expansive lawns covering an area of 86,342 square feet and is 356 feet long, 316 feet wide and 141 feet high. Intelligence agencies had in December warned that militants planned to carry out terror strikes in the capital.

The police have intensified patrolling and checking of vehicles in the capital. "There is nothing to panic. Personnel have been alerted. We are keeping a close watch," a senior police official said.

Sack minister for demanding separate currency: BJP

Sack minister for demanding separate currency: BJP

Onkar Singh in New Delhi January 05, 2008 16:01 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party has demanded the sacking of Jammu and Kashmir [
Images] Finance Minister Tariq Hamid Kaarrah for demanding a separate currency for the state. "Chief Minister Gulam Nabi Azad should sack the minister for making such outrageous demand. He should be prosecuted for making such a statement," a spokesperson said.

In Jammu, there were widespread protests and effigies of the minister were burnt. "He is speaking the language of the ISI," a protestor said.

Former chief minister Dr Farooq Abdullah sought to play down the demand by saying that it was a populist comment made by a small-time politician. "Shall we have his picture instead of Mahatma Gandhi [Images]," he said.

The minister in question is now claiming he had been misquoted and he was speaking of the scenario when there is a settlement of the Kashmir issue