Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

‘More jihadi attacks waiting to happen’ — gift of peace religion

Posted by jagoindia on September 28, 2008

‘More jihadi attacks waiting to happen’
28 Sep 2008, 0447 hrs IST,TNN

NEW DELHI: Though most leading members of the Indian Mujahideen-SIMI modules involved in the recent serial blasts have been nabbed, security agencies feel the terror threat for India remains high with jihadi outfits likely to plan more attacks aimed at keeping police forces’ on the backfoot.

Though Saturday’s blast in the Capital was hardly as sophisticated as the bombings in Jaipur, Ahmedabad or Delhi, it was indicative of the penetration of the jihadi network and sleeper cells. The aim was as much to stir panic and uncertainty as to cause a few casualties.

The amount of explosives and the bomb-making lacked the IM-SIMI’s lethal techniques but has intelligence agencies quite worried about other modules and sleeper cells being activated in the weeks to come.

There are no clear estimates of the number of SIMI activists, but their ranks could well run into hundreds with several dormant cells in every major city.

Sources pointed out that jihadi outfits, as is evident with the interrogation reports of IM-SIMI members held recently, closely monitored media reports on the blasts and gauged public reactions. They could also try and influence opinion by planning attacks to sow and strengthen suspicion over whether those held so far were actually connected to recent blasts.

It is pointed out that SIMI has a history of working with Pakistan-based or controlled groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami and even in the case of IM, links to LeT have been traced to LeT. The ISI mentors of these groups have often read diverse opinions over terror cases in India as sign of weakness and can attempt to try and sharpen that divide.

At another level, security agencies point to the somewhat unsettled conditions in Pakistan where the Army is being pushed to act against Al Qaida-Taliban and is also being pressured by the US to rein in and clean up ISI.
The civilian government is also being asked to prevent ISI from aiding militants who are engaged in attacking US-led forces in Afghanistan.

In this situation, ISI and Pakistan army are loath to check jihadi inflows into India, particularly ahead of the likely elections in Jammu and Kashmir. This is the reason why the army has not been too pleased with newly-installed Pakistan president Asif Zardari’s efforts to restart the peace process, which included a commitment that a meeting of the stalled joint mechanism on terrorism would soon take up the suicide bombing of the Indian embassy in Kabul, seen to be the handiwork of ISI.

The opening of trade across LoC is something ISI and the army view with suspicion. There is an apprehension, which is not misplaced, that trade, though limited, would increase engagement of the two Kashmirs and an economic interest might over time contribute to sapping the popular appetite for separatism. While Zardari looks to improve his domestic standing with a deeper engagement with India, the Pakistan army’s interests appear aligned in the opposite direction.

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