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Saturday, 13 July 2013

IM’s reign of terror spreads to Bihar

Rajesh Ahuja, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 10, 2013

Seeds of terror in Bodh Gaya were sowed in a faraway Karnataka coastal town Bhatkal in a secret meeting at the end of 2003, when a group of seven decided to found the Indian Mujahideen (IM), to pursue jehad in India.

Out of the seven founding members of the IM, six were from Bhatkal and one Tarique Anjum Hasan was from Nalanda district of Bihar who had gone there to study engineering in Anjuman College, claim investigators.

Sources allege Tarique’s co-founders were Iqbal Bhatkal, his younger brother Riyaz Bhatkal, Ahmad Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal, Sultan, Hafif, Gora Ismail alias White Uncle and Sultan.

Yasin Bhatkal is now prime suspect in Dilsukhnagar blasts of Hyderabad and the Bodh Gaya serial blasts. After Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal left India for Karachi in 2008, Yasin is the prime mover of the IM in India even as security agencies are trailing him.

“In the 2003 meeting Iqbal and Riyaz had a difference of opinion with White Uncle’s son-in-law Maulana Shees. Maulana was supporting Pakistani terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) but Iqbal felt that LeT was financed by the US so they should not work with it. But 10 years later, Iqbal is now ensconced in Karachi with the help of LeT,” said an officer familiar with the interrogation details of Tarique.

Tarique also told interrogators that in the 2003 meeting, Iqbal was anointed Amir (chief) of the IM and Riyaz his Naib Amir (deputy to the chief). White Uncle, Sultan and Yasin were entrusted with recruitment.

Over a period Tarique helped rope in many youths from Bihar. After the Batla House encounter of September 2008, when Iqbal and Riyaz were on the run, Tarique allegedly gave them shelter at his residence in Delhi and then sent them to Bihar from where they managed to flee from India.

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