Almost all the recruitments for the alleged Indian Mujahideen module involved in Delhi's Jama Masjid shooting, Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium blasts and Pune's German Bakery blast last year, which has been busted by the Delhi Police Special Cell, had been made from Bihar. While five of those arrested belong to the State, over half-a-dozen are suspected to be at large.
While accused Abdur Rahman (19), Mohammad Qateel Siddiqi (27) and Gauhar Aziz Khomani (31) are residents of Darbhanga, Gayur Ahmad Jamali (21) is from Madhubani and Mohammad Irshad Khan (52) from Samastipur.
The Pakistani accused, Muhammad Adil (40), was also arrested from Madhubani. According to sources, all the recruitments from Bihar had been done by a wanted Indian Mujahideen terrorist Shahrukh, who has been heading the outfit in India since 2009 after the Bhatkal brothers Riaz and Iqbal, who founded the outfit, escaped to Pakistan.
According to the police, Shahrukh, who is from Bhatkal in Karnataka, has been operating for the past several years under code-names Ahmad Siddibapa, Imran, Yashin and Asif.
He is said be an expert at configuring improvised explosive devices. Investigators believe that he initially came in contact with several students from Bihar pursuing education at an engineering college in his home town. He struck a friendship with them and with a view to brainwash young men into joining terror activities, started visiting different parts of north Bihar.
One of his alleged recruits, Gauhar, has revealed that he first met Shahrukh in his village in 2003 and renewed his contact with him days after the September 2008 serial blasts in the Capital after he came to Delhi in 2007. According to the police, Shahrukh was the one to have supplied explosives.
Bihar being a State bordering Nepal and located close to Indo-Bangladesh border has for the past several years been used as a transit point for terrorists besides large-scale smuggling of arms and fake currency consignments used to fuel terror activities in the other parts of the country. However, revelations made by two suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives arrested in 2005 indicated that organised efforts were being made by terror outfits to recruit young men from the State.
Subsequent arrests and interrogation of suspected terrorists suggested that besides LeT, Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami and Hizbul Mujahideen were also in the race to indoctrinate and induct foot soldiers from Bihar. Recruitment drives were carried out in Champaran, Darbhanga, Madhubani, Muzaffarpur, Saharsa and Purnea districts of Bihar. While terrorists could easily cross over to Nepal through the porous border, Purnea that shares borders with two West Bengal districts Murshidabad and Malda emerged as a major transit between India and Bangladesh. Sources said those arrested during the past few days also have links in Nepal.
The recruits were employed mainly as couriers of arms, ammunition, money obtained through the hawala channel and also to receive fake currency notes pushed into the country through Nepal and Bangladesh.
Investigations into an LeT module smashed by the Delhi Police Special Cell in March 2005, which had been constituted to carry out an attack at the Indian Military Academy in Dehra Dun and some prominent IT companies in Bangalore's cyber-city, revealed that financial assistance was being given to young men from Bihar to work as conduits. Accused Mohammad Iftekhar Ahsan Mallick, a resident of Ara in Bihar then arrested in Dehra Dun, had then disclosed that his handler Shams -- killed along with two Pakistan nationals in an alleged encounter -- had arranged funds for his biotechnology studies.
Another significant arrest made in Bihar was of a suspected Al-Qaeda conduit named Gulam Rasool Khan carrying a Pakistani passport at Purnia in 2010.
The suspect, who had spent time in Dubai and Afghanistan, planned to escape to Bangladesh.
Keywords: Indian Mujahideen