According to the Special Cell, the two youth, Rehan and Sharjeel, are from the national capital’s Welcome area and Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh respectively. Sharjeel’s uncle, Zaffar Masood, the latest arrest in the alleged AQIS module, also hails from Sambhal.
Mohamad Asif was arrested on Wednesday
Two youth, who were supposedly radicalised and sent over to Af-Pak region as recruits for Al Qaida by Mohamad Asif, an alleged operative of Al Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), were students of country’s premier Jamia Millia Islamia University.The claim was recorded in interrogation report of Asif (41), who was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police on December 14. Furthermore, the third person arrested from UP’s Sambhal district on Wednesday evening, is an uncle of one of the youths, who are now believed to be fighting as mid-level soldiers in AQIS, after they successfully crossed over to Pakistan through Iran in 2013.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>According to the Special Cell, the two youth, Rehan and Sharjeel, are from the national capital’s Welcome area and Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh respectively. Sharjeel’s uncle, Zaffar Masood, the latest arrest in the alleged AQIS module, also hails from Sambhal.Earlier it had come to fore that Maulana Asim Umar, who was in September 2014 chosen to be the Amir (head) of AQIS by Al Qaida chief Ayman al Zawahiri, was a resident of Sambhal. Umar crossed over to Pakistan in 1995 and had fought alongside Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, a group originally formed in 1985 after breaking out from Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HUJI). In 1993, the group merged with HUJI to form Harkat-ul-Ansar under the leadership of Abdelkader Mokhtari, an Algerian commander who later came to be known for his participation in the Bosnian war.”Zaffar, the uncle of one of the youths, has told us that the claims made by Asif might have credibility as his nephew had spent quite a time in Delhi as a student,” said a senior police officer. Local police in Welcome when contacted by dna said, “We are not aware of the whereabouts of anyone by the name of Rehan”. The Special Cell said that their investigators are figuring out the addresses of the youth. Officials did not specify whether they had any fresh information about the two youth.Asif, along with Sharjeel and Rehan, is said to have entered into Pakistan through Iran in June 2013 after procuring travellers’ visa on the pretext of performing ziyarat at the shrine of the late Grand Ayatollah Khomaini in Tehran. “Asif was in touch with Zaffar who introduced him to Sharjeel. Asif motivated Sharjeel to join AQIS who in return persuaded Rehaan to do the same,” said a senior police officer.A person code named Qasim was Asif’s main contact and also facilitated his travel after the duo got in touch through social media in 2012.”After landing in Tehran, Asif is said to have contacted Qasim who approached them at the hotel where they were staying . The three then travelled from Zahedan, to Sarwan where they were picked up by another contact of Qasim. From Sarawan, they reached the Iran-Pakistan border and crossed it over foot,” said Arvind Deep, Special Commissioner, Special Cell. The three reached North Waziristan after crossing Quetta, Ghazni and South Waziristan.Asif, after dropping Sharjeel and Rehan in North Waziristan, is said to have returned by the same route in September, 2014 but was apprehended by Iranian Security agencies on his way.The contacts of Al Qaeda ensured that he was transited to Turkey and after some days, accused Asif approached Indian embassy where he told the officials there that he had lost his passport. He was sent back to India on emergency certificate. Police custodyMeanwhile, Zaffar and Abdul Rehman (37), were remanded to 12-day police custody by a Delhi court. Rahman, who was arrested from Jagatpur area of Cuttack in Odisha, runs a Madrasa. Rahman, according to the Special cell is the brother of one Tariq Ali who was arrested after 2001 bombing of American cultural centre in Kolkata.
Attacks in the first week of December have led the intelligence agencies based in Jammu and Kashmir to suspect that the banned outfits — Jaish-e-Mohamad and Harkut-ul-Mujahideen – might be attempting to re-establish a space for militant groups with a ‘global agenda’ instead of a Kashmir-centric one.
Army and special operation group personnel take positions during an encounter with militants in J&K’s Handwara district on Friday
Attacks in the first week of December have led the intelligence agencies based in Jammu and Kashmir to suspect that the banned outfits — Jaish-e-Mohamad and Harkut-ul-Mujahideen – might be attempting to re-establish a space for militant groups with a ‘global agenda’ instead of a Kashmir-centric one.While JeM claimed responsibility for an attack on Gorkha Rifles Camp in Tangdhar area, which resulted in the killing of a military contractor and three militants, HuM spokesperson Hassan Askaree, in a tele-statement to local news agency, paid ‘tributes’ to the militants slain in the Handwara and Poonch attacks.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even though senior intelligence officials said that “it is too soon to say that JeM and HuM are trying to regroup,” they did not deny the possibility of the latest attacks being carried out to reclaim lost ground in the valley. While JeM’s presence was last witnessed in 2013, when the group engaged security forces on multiple occasions, resulting in the killing of several of its top commanders, HuM was involved in a major Fidayeen attacks carried out in Lal Chowk area of Srinagar in January, 2010.”Both the groups were very close to each other and, in fact, they worked in close co-ordination till 2007. However, HuM fighters in Sopore and Handwara area maintained their independence from JeM and carried out attacks till 2010,” said an official source.Counter-insurgency officials told dna that while one can see similarities in modus operandi of various Kashmir-based militant groups, the major differences lie in their goals.”Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen have confined their goals to Kashmir. Most of its fighters advocate either Kashmir’s independence or a merger with Pakistan. However, the same cannot be said of JeM or HuM,” a senior counter-insurgency official said.”Groups with global jihad waned over a period of time. It is unlikely that global jihadists will gain territory in future. The reason LeT and HM are still operational is because of their focus on Kashmir,” the official added.JeM was established by Maulana Masood Azhar in the year 2000, after he was freed by the Indian government in exchange for passengers on the hijacked Indian Airlines Flight 814. The group’s history is, however, not as elaborate as HuM which makes the December 4 Handwara attack quite significant.”JeM does not have more than 10-12 terrorists on ground. HuM is a different ball game altogether. The global network Hum possesses, gives it an edge over groups like Hizb and Lashkar whose primary goal continues to be Kashmir,” said a senior police official in J&K.”The recent attacks can also be seen as a reaction to advances of ISIS which is a sectarian terrorist force. In the past, we have seen several valley-based militant groups releasing anti-ISIS statements. Point in case is LeT’s statement against ISIS’s anti-Shia agenda,” the official added.HuM was originally formed in 1985 after breaking out from Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HUJI) in 1985.Towards the end of Soviet-Afghan war, the group entered Kashmiri politics, and in 1993 the group merged with HUJI to form Harkat-ul-Ansar under the leadership of Abdelkader Mokhtari, an Algerian commander who later came to be known for his participation in the Bosnian war. The group was banned in mid-90s after which it renamed itself as HuM. It was banned once again following the 9/11 twin tower attacks.
Delivering the first ‘Nagendra Singh memorial lecture’ on ‘Ensuring peace in South Asia: Role of India’ organised by the International Goodwill Society of India, he said most of South Asian countries’ security threats are internal.
Terming “jihadi terrorism” as common threat to South Asia, NSA Ajit Doval on Tuesday warned Pakistan not to engage in covert actions saying it is a very short-sighted strategy of the neighbouring country. He said Pakistan has never realised that it can be “profitable” and “most effective” for its economic growth and stability if it engages with India and rest of the South Asian countries.”Till that happens, what India can do. I think one is that we should continue to work hard to persuade Pakistan, to convince Pakistan, through our sincerity, whatever we can do and whatever we think is the language in which the Pakistan can understand it well. We should be able to convey and convince it,” he said.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Delivering the first ‘Nagendra Singh memorial lecture’ on ‘Ensuring peace in South Asia: Role of India’ organised by the International Goodwill Society of India, he said most of South Asian countries’ security threats are internal.”There is only one threat which has got its footprints in almost all of the nations. Problem about this is that its origin, its nursery, is also the member of South Asian region. Islamic terrorism or jihadi terrorism, rather I should use the word, is one of the common threats. Bangladesh is affected by it, Afghanistan is affected, India is affected, Pakistan is affected by it. Sri Lanka is affected,” the NSA said.This is one common threat on which there could have been much of cooperation but probably two of the countries Afghanistan and Pakistan have become epicentre of that, he said.”Since Pakistan is part of the problem it could not become part of the solution,” Doval said maintaining that “it is only Pakistan with which there have been problems”.He said after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power one of the cornerstones of the government’s policy was that “we have got to take all South Asian countries together”.”And that was the idea when all the heads of the governments were invited for his swearing-in ceremony. It did start well it did give us lot of dividend. Probably thing with Pakistan have not developed as much but we are sure that some day we will able to do so,” Doval said.He said another important requirement will be where Pakistan shifting from its strategic position where it feels that covert action can be effective low cost option of its security strategy because supporting terrorism or a covert action is a very low cost exercise.”They think that it is an option. Probably plenty of evidence today is available with Pakistan. This it is a very very short sighted strategy. It hurts the people who propagate and support it much more than the people against whom these mentalities are built.”We do hope that with the passage of time Pakistan will realise they have started taking some action against some of the groups particularly those groups which are hurting Pakistan,” the NSA said.Doval said Pakistan has taken action against some of the groups “which undermine security interest of the western countries” but groups like Lashker-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamaat-ud- Dawa (JuD), Harkat-ul-Ansar and Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM) “which are targetting India” and “which continue to get their support”. He appreciated actions like return of Geeta, the deaf and mute girl from Pakistan, after being stranded in the neighbouring country for over a decade, as an effort to build on people-to-people contact.”What is most important is this that Pakistan has to be convinced that covert action is not a cost effective option. The cost involved is much heavier and that will be unaffordable.”Pakistan has never felt that it can be profitable for it and most effective for its economic growth, for its stability, for its economic development, the acceptance in the world as more responsible in case it engages with India and rest of the South Asian countries, he said.
Police also apprehended two Bangladeshis along with one Myanmar national who were illegally staying in the city without valid documents,” a senior Task Force officer told PTI
A Pakistani national was arrested in Hyderabad on Friday for alleged links with banned terror organisation HuJI, police said.The South Zone Task Force along with Central Crime Station, a wing of Hyderabad Police, nabbed Mohammed Nazir on charge of having close links with Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), they said. “In a joint operation, the police team arrested the Pakistani national who is having terror links with HuJI.Police also apprehended two Bangladeshis along with one Myanmar national who were illegally staying in the city without valid documents,” a senior Task Force officer told PTI. Two local agents were also held, he said.Incriminating documents were seized from those arrested, he added.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>