||This article needs to be updated. (July 2011)|
|Leader(s)||Abdul Subhan Qureshi|
|Dates of operation||2008|
|Motives||Creating an "Islamic Caliphate" across South Asia|
|Status|| Designated as terrorist organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (4 June 2010)
Designated terrorist organisation under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002 (22 October 2010)
Designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (15 September 2011)
Proscribed by the United Kingdom
The Indian Mujahideen was declared a terrorist organisation on 4 June 2010 and banned by the Government of India. On 22 October 2010, New Zealand declared it a terrorist organisation. In September 2011, the United States officially placed the Indian Mujahideen on its list of foreign terrorist organisations, with the State Department acknowledging that the group had engaged in several terrorist attacks in India and had regional aspirations with the ultimate aim of creating an "Islamic caliphate" across South Asia. The group was banned by the United Kingdom as it aimed at creating an Islamic state and implementing sharia law in India, by use of indiscriminate violence.
A number of botched arrests and custodial deaths have continued to raise questions in the mainstream media and even conspiracy theories particularly among India's besieged Muslim communities that the so-called Indian Mujahideen is a fake organisation set up by vested interests to tarnish the Indian Muslim community with the Al-Qaeda tag that was until then never used in reference to Indian Muslims, as confirmed by then US President George W. Bush during his official visit to India.
Investigators believe that Indian Mujahideen is one of many groups composed of lower-tier SIMI members. According to the Indian Intelligence Bureau, SIMI took new titles because the top leadership of SIMI have been detained and would be available for interrogation. The change in names is believed to signal a change in tactics as SIMI-affiliated militants attempt to garner more support from India's Muslim community rather than be seen as a group consisting of foreigners. Two days after the 13 May 2008 Jaipur bombings, the extremist group sent an e-mail to Indian media in which they claimed responsibility for the attacks and said they would "demolish the faiths (all religions apart from Islam) of the infidels of India." The biggest and boldest attack to date by the group was the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts, where it gained national notoriety with a casualty count towards 50.
Even though IM came to light in 2008, in the same year it was already seen to have a faction. The 30 October 2008 Assam bombings were claimed by alleged offspring of the IM, Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen, though police were still investigating this link.
It is suspected that these are the major leaders of the Indian group.
- Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, 36, sought: a software engineer from Mumbai; expert in bomb-making and an expert bomber
- Safdar Nagori, 38, under arrest: architect of the transformation from SIMI to Indian Mujahideen
- Mufti Abu Bashir, 28, under arrest: a preacher from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh
- Qayamuddin Kapadia, 28, under arrest: a trader from Vadodara, started the first-ever mosque of the Ahle Hadis Tanzeem in Vadodara
- Sajid Mansuri, 35, under arrest: a graduate in psychology and formerly a marketing executive
- Usman Agarbattiwala, sought, 25: a postgraduate diploma holder from Vadodara in human rights
- Alamzeb Afridi, 24, sought: a jobless youth from Ahmedabad; purchased bicycles and then planted them in Ahmedabad after tying bombs
- Abdul Razik Mansuri, 27, sought: an embroidery unit owner
- Mujib Shaikh, 25, sought: a stone polishing artisan
- Zahid Shaikh, 27, sought: a mobile phone repair shop owner from Ahmedabad
- Amil Parwaz, sought: a native of Ujjain, believed to be involved in the court bomb blasts in Uttar Pradesh in November 2007
- Yasin Bhatkal, 30, under arrest: native of Bhatkal in North Karnataka
- Mohammad Atif (24) aka Bashir: alleged planner and recruiter, killed in the Batla House, Jamia Nagar encounter on 19 September. Alleged to have planted a bomb at M-block market in Greater Kailash-I, and Varanasi bombs.
- Mohammad Saif: arrested from Batla House in Jamia Nagar after the 19 September encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Regal Cinema in Connaught Place.
- Zeeshan: arrested after the Jamia Nagar encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place.
- Mohammed Sajid (16) aka Pankaj: killed during the Batla House encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place.
- Junaid: Escaped during the Batla House encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb at M-block market in Greater Kailash-I, and Varanasi bombs.
- Mohammad Shakeel (24): arrested on 21 September, from Jamia Nagar. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Nehru Place in south Delhi.
- Zia-ur-Rehman (22): arrested on 21 September, from Jamia Nagar. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Connaught Place and on a cycle in Ahmedabad.
- Saqib Nisar (23): arrested on 21 September, from Jamia Nagar.
- Shahzad alias Pappu: arrested, from Azamgarh by UP STF. He escaped during the Jamia Nagar encounter. Alleged to have planted a bomb in Central Park, Connaught Place.
- Alihas Malik: sought. Alleged to have planted a bomb at Central Park, Connaught Place.
- Mohammad Khalif: sought
- Arif: sought
- Salman: arrested by Special Cell
Attacks claimed by Indian Mujahideen
The emails sent by Indian Mujahideen claimed that they were responsible for the following terror incidents. One warning email was received 5 minutes before the first blast in Ahmedabad. Another was received soon after the first blast of Delhi bombings. The timing makes it impossible for any other groups to have sent the two emails.
- 2007 Uttar Pradesh bombings
- 13 May 2008 Jaipur bombings
- 2008 Bangalore serial blasts
- 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts
- 13 September 2008 Delhi bombings
- 2010 Pune bombing
- 2010 Jama Masjid attack
- 2010 Varanasi bombing
- 2011 Mumbai serial blasts
- 2013 Bodh Gaya blasts
Suspects and arrests
On 28 August 2013, in a major breakthrough, Yasin Bhatkal, co-founder of IM, and another IM terrorist were arrested by Indian Police and NIA near the Indo-Nepal border. According to Gujarat police, the breakthrough in the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts case came from five 'switched-off' mobile phone numbers. Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Ashish Bhatia said that the terrorists had procured five SIM cards of phones that were switched off on the day of the blasts — 26 July. The analysis of the phone calls made to those SIM cards from PCOs provided them the key leads.
The arrest of ten suspects included the leader, Mufti Abu Bashir Ishlahi alias Abdul Wasir, who was arrested with the help of Uttar Pradesh police at his father's home at Sarai Mir in Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh on 14 August 2008.
Bashir studied in the local Madarsatul Islah and later in Deoband in Saharanpur. According to the reports, Bashir claimed that the bombings cost Rs 75,000. A SIMI activist sold his house in Kutch to get the amount.
Bashir, who had stayed in Ahmedabad along with Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer, a co-conspirator, had bought five SIM cards using local names and addresses. He had used these cell phone numbers to remain in touch with the other members of the module at the planning stage of the conspiracy. Bashir had given the SIM cards to the bomb planters on 26 July, who had used them carefully. Each member had contacted the others through STD-PCO booths after successfully planting the bombs. These numbers were used only for receiving calls. Many of the calls were from Juhapura, where Zahid Shaikh, one of the key members of the group, lived at Sandhi Avenue near the Sarkhej highway. These numbers had become inactive immediately after the blasts.
The Government also suspects Indian Mujahideen for the two blasts in Hyderabad on 21 February 2013 at 7:01 pm.
Key members of the Indian Mujahideen in Mumbai police custody want to turn approver.
In March 2014, the Special Cell of the Delhi Police arrested four members of IM, out of which one was Waqas alias Javed, a bomb-making expert in the group. They were arrested in Jaipur and Jodhpur in Rajasthan.
Ejaz Sheikh, wanted in several cases including a terror strike in Jama Masjid in New Delhi, was arrested on 6 September 2014 from the Saharanpur area of western Uttar Pradesh by the Special Cell of the Delhi Police. He is considered a "technical expert" and considered a key member of Indian Mujahideen (IM).
Jamia Nagar encounter
On 19 September 2008, the police raided an apartment in Jamia Nagar, near Jamia Millia Islamia In Delhi. There is speculation that the prime suspect in the Ahmedabad blasts, Mufti Abu Bashir, a madrasa teacher from Azamgarh, may have pointed out the apartment.
The raid resulted in the death of terrorists Bashir alias Mohammed Atif Amin (son of Mohammed Amin, cloth merchant in Bhiwandi, Mumbai) and Mohammad Sajid, and a decorated police officer, Mohan Chand Sharma, in the gunfight. Mohammad Saif (the son of Samajwadi Party leader Shadab Ahmed) was arrested while two hostiles managed to flee by possibly jumping the rooftops. All of the suspects were from the town of Sarai Mir in Azamgarh district. They claimed to be students, but that was denied by Jamia Millia.
The five were responsible for manufacturing bombs used in the Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi blasts.
Atif claimed to have been studying for a diploma in human resources development from Jamia Milia Islamia University. However Jamia Milia denied having him as a student. Some residents of Sarai Mir thought he was pursuing his bachelors degree in technology from Jamia Hamdard.
Atif was said to have been the leader of a group of 14 young men belong to Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, all claiming to have been studying in Delhi: Atif (24), Sajid alias Pankaj (19) (both now dead), Shehzad alias Pappu (22), Junaid (27), Shahdab Bhai alias Mallick (27), Sajid (24), Mohammad Khalid (25), Arif (22), Shakil (26), Zia Khan (24) and Salman (25), Zeeshan (24) and Mohammad Saif (23).
Zeeshan Jawed was arrested from the offices of a private TV station. He worked for a private company, Monarch International on Vikas Marg, and is also said to be studying management. Both he and Saif claim to have been recruited by Atif.
It is reported that Mohammad Saif has said that the plans to carry out several blasts across the country were mooted about three years ago when the Indian Mujahideen (IM) was formed. Although the blasts spanned a period of 10 months (the first blasts took place in August 2007 in Hyderabad), the planning was made far back in 2005. After that a series of explosions occurred in Uttar Pradesh, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Delhi.
There is considerable resentment in Sarai Mir over the death of the local boys. Villagers have blamed the media for giving a bad name to Azamgarh by calling it a "nursery of terror". Mafia don Abu Salem hails from here. Azamgarh used to export its famous country-made pistols, known as "kattas", whose factories dot the region. The district was also known for young sharpshooters who joined Mumbai gangs. Individuals from the area have been accused of the murders of Bollywood producer Gulshan Kumar in Mumbai and Left leader Shankar Guha Niyogi in Chhattisgarh.
There are Indian Mujahideen members in Islamic State, as shown in one of their propaganda videos titled "The Land of India, of Pain and Hope".
- Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami
- Students Islamic Movement of India
- Abdul Subhan Qureshi
- Bomb blasts: Charge sheet filed against four Bhatkal aides
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