Investigators probing the terror module busted in Karnataka have claimed that the arrested 11 youths were inspired by the contents of an online magazine which glorifies activities of al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
Sources in a joint team of central security agencies comprising officials of Intelligence Bureau and RAW conducting the probe claimed today that during questioning of the arrested people it has emerged they had been apparently indoctrinated to join the terror module by various inflammatory speeches uploaded on Internet and writings in the magazine of the sleeper cell of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
The arrested include a journalist working with a prominent newspaper in Bangalore and a Junior Research Fellow of premier Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The arrested persons have spoken extensively about an online magazine Inspire linked to al-Qaeda and published from somewhere in Yemen where articles relate towards drawing youth to an “armed war” against Americans, India, Israel and other Western countries who have allied with the US in Afghanistan, the sources said.
The laptop and pen drives seized from the arrested people also showed their extensive visit to websites that spoke about joining of terror modules and how to conduct reconnaissance and surveillance of individuals and important targets.
Among those arrested are Muthi-ur-Rahman Siddiqui, a journalist, Riyaz Ahmed Baihatti, a BCA graduate and salesman, Mohammed Yusuf Nalabund, also a salesman, Aijaz Ahmed Mirza, a software engineer at DRDO, Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chotu, an MCA student, Obeidullah Imran Bahadur alias Sameer alias Imran, Mohammed Sadiq Lashkar alias Raju, Baba alias Mehaboob Bagalkote, Abdulla alias Abdul Hakim Jamadar, Dr Zafar Iqbal Sholapur and Wahid Hussein alias Sahil.
The magazine has been touted by many US think-tanks, as an effective tool of banned al-Qaeda terror group for recruiting youths without getting in physical contact with them.
According to US think-tank Center for Strategic and International Studies, al—Qaeda and its Associated Members (AQAMO) recognised the importance of Information and Communication Technology and has exploited it for training purposes.
It says that the magazine has provided instructions on topics such as “how to make a bomb in the kitchen of your Mom” and how to clean AK-47 besides other traditional propaganda pieces.
Parents and kin of the arrested youth have denied allegations levelled by the police and have also demanded an impartial probe to ascertain the truth.
However, sources privy to the probe claimed that the youths arrested in Bangalore were inspired by the writings of the magazine and had contacted brother of Shahid Bilal, a Hyderabad resident killed in a gun-fight at Karachi in Pakistan.
The sources said that at least four youths had expressed their desire to fight along the al-Qaeda cadres in Afghanistan, a proposal which was turned down by brother of Bilal, who is believed to be holed up in Saudi Arabia.
The youths had told the investigators that they were instructed to carry out some attacks in India before graduating to fight the American troops in Afghanistan, the sources claimed.
Some of the members of this group have been arrested from Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh as well.