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Terror mail threatens to “stop India’s heartbeat”

WHEN THE CAPITAL CAME TO A HALT: The blast site on Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place in New Delhi on Saturday. (Right) People help an injured woman after a blast. A boy considered a key witness to one of the bomb blasts in New Delhi being led away by the police. - PHOTOS: V.V. KRISHNAN, AP, AFP

WHEN THE CAPITAL CAME TO A HALT: The blast site on Barakhamba Road in Connaught Place in New Delhi on Saturday. (Right) People help an injured woman after a blast. A boy considered a key witness to one of the bomb blasts in New Delhi being led away by the police. - PHOTOS: V.V. KRISHNAN, AP, AFP  

Praveen Swami

Author believed to be top Students Islamic Movement of India bomb-maker Abdul Subhan Qureshi



More terror attacks will follow, says the e-mail

Bombings “a tribute to our brethren martyrs

in Kashmir”





NEW DELHI: In the fifth in a series of manifestos issued by the Indian Mujahideen since it began a series of nationwide urban bombings in 2007, the terrorist group has said Saturday’s serial bombings were intended to “stop the heart of India from beating.”

“We the Indian Mujahideen, ask Allah, the Almighty, to accept from us these nine explosions which were planned to be executed in the holy month of Ramadan,” states a 13-page manifesto and video slide-show e-mailed by the Indian Mujahideen to media in the midst of the bombings.

Charging Indians with harbouring “never ending hostile hatred in your hearts against Islam and its people,” the manifesto says that the bombings are intended to “prove to you the ability and potential of [the] Indian Mujahideen to assault any city of India at any time.” It promises that more terror attacks fill follow “to punish you even before your earlier wounds have healed.”

Much of the manifesto is devoted to holding out threats to the police and media. It states: “Be it the ATS [Anti-Terrorism Squad] of Maharashtra, the ATS and ACB of Gujarat, the OCTOPUS [Organisation for Countering Terrorists] of Andhra Pradesh, or be it a psychological propaganda war by the biased media, none shall be spared when it comes to vengeance – the Qisas.”

For the first time, the Indian Mujahideen makes reference to the conflict in Jammu and Kashmir. “The injustice and pain inflicted on Kashmiri Muslims during the Amarnath crisis has once again landed you in great trouble,” it warns.

Describing the Delhi bombings as “a tribute to all our brethren martyrs in Kashmir,” the Indian Mujahideen says, “We announce that from now on, Inshallah, the Muslims won’t cry alone, our women won’t be widowed alone, our children won’t balone [sic., be alone] and scores will be settled evenly.”

Interestingly, in an evident response to anti-jihadist clerics who have in recent months attacked the Indian Mujahideen, the e-mail lays claim to the legacy of famous regional jihadists. “We have carried out this attack in the memory of two most eminent Mujahids of India, Sayyed Ahmed, Shaheed and Shah Ismail, Shaheed (may Allah bestow His Mercy upon them), who had raised the glorious banner of Jihad against the disbelievers in this very city of Delhi.”

Sayyid Ahmad of Rai Bareilly and Shah Ismail died at Balakote, Pakistan-administered Kashmir, in May 1831, in what is present-day Pakistan-administered Kashmir, while waging an unsuccessful jihad against Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s kingdom. Ahmad’s followers went on to set up the Jamaat Ahl-e-Hadis — a neo-fundamentalist order that has drawn million of mainly-peaceful followers, but has also inspired south Asia’s largest terrorist group, the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Pakistan-based Lashkar units are thought to have trained several members of the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India, from which the Indian Mujahideen has drawn its cadre.

Indian Mujahideen operatives had issued the first of five similar manifestos in November, 2007, minutes before the bombing of three trial court buildings in Uttar Pradesh.

Police in Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan believe that this e-mail was drafted by Lucknow-based businessman Shahbaz Husain and cleric Abdul Bashir Qasmi, both of whom were arrested earlier this month. Both the address used to send the e-mail, >guru_alHindi@yahoo.fr, and the pseudonym used to sign ‘Guru al-Hindi’ bore interesting similarities with Husain’s personal e-mail address, >hahbaz_hindi@yahoo.com.

Sources involved in the investigation of the May serial bombings in Jaipur said they believe Husain, with some advice on theological issues from Qasmi, also drafted the e-mail issued by the Indian Mujahideen in the wake of the attacks. Like the court-complex e-mail, this document was also signed by ‘Guru al-Hindi’ and sent out from an e-mail address containing his name, guru_alhindi_jaipur@ yahoo.co.uk.

Later Indian Mujahideen manifestos are believed to have authored by Abdul Subhan Qureshi — a Mumbai-based software engineer-turned top Students Islamic Movement of India bomb-maker who was profiled in The Hindu on Saturday.

Qureshi, police sources say, designed the graphics-rich Portable Document Format manifesto attached to an Indian Mujahideen e-mail issued by its most ambitious terror operation so far, the attacks on Surat and Ahmedabad in July. This third e-mail manifesto bore the signatures of both ‘al-Hindi’ and ‘al-Arbi’, or ‘the Arab,’ and was sent out from >alarbi_gujarat@yahoo.com. Forensic specialists have established that the handwriting used in the signature for ‘Arbi’ closely matches that of Qureshi.

Later, ‘al-Arbi’ sent out a fourth e-mail to decry the arrest of key suspects alleged to be involved in the Indian Mujahideen, including Qasmi. In this last e-mail, he promised to execute further attacks.

Saturday’s terror manifesto bears the signatures of both ‘al-Arbi’ and ‘al-Hindi,’ but the writing used for the second name is significantly different from that used in earlier Indian Mujahideen documents — a fact which could bear out police claims that the individual it refers to has been arrested.

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