Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Kashmir to Kovalam: Islamic terrorism in India

Posted by jagoindia on October 12, 2008


Jihadi connection now stretches from Kashmir to Kovalam
8 Oct, 2008, 0216 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Army and the Special Operations Group of Jammu and Kashmir have killed a militant hailing from Kerala in the Lolab Valley of Kashmir.

The development formally announces the emergence of Kerala as a catchment area for jihadis. For long, security experts have been maintaining that Kerala jihadists have close links with the Salafi-jihadi movement.

Central agencies have been monitoring certain leads which said a group of people hailing from Kerala were trying to enter Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) through north Kashmir with the LeT’s support. The information was shared with the army headquarters in the Capital and a plan was chalked out to nab the exfiltrating group with the help of the state police.

A militant identified as Shakeel Mohammed hailing from Kovalam was killed in the encounter that took place between Nine Para and Special Operations Group in Dever area of Lolab Valley in north Kashmir. A hunt is on to track down those who have escaped after the encounter, agency reports said.

Shakeel is the first Keralite to have been killed in nearly two decades of militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. A photo identity card was found on him besides some religious writings in Malayalam.

Kerala’s tryst with Islamic fundamentalism is not new. Investigations into the recent terror attacks had revealed that the state had acted as Simi’s training ground on more than a couple of occasions. The men who attacked Ahmedabad and Delhi were trained at separate camps at Beenanipuram in Cochin district and Thangalpara in Idukki district.

Simi has been operating in Kerala under the cover of some two dozen front organisations, at least two of which are based in Thiruvananthapuram, and a third in Kochi.

Kondotty in the Malappuram district has also emerged as a hotbed of Simi activities. An official declaration submitted on June 1, 2006, by the Kerala government before the tribunal examining the legality of the ban on Simi, indicated that the outfit’s cadres had “lately” developed links with LeT.

Reports from various agencies, including the State Police Special Branch, too, indicate that Simi has been operating under the cover of religious study centres, rural development and research centres. Security agencies say that funds for such activities flow in from contacts in Kuwait and Pakistan.

Coming back to the J&K incident, a team of Kerala Police is scheduled to visit Kashmir Valley soon for carrying out the identification process of the killed militant. The security agencies believe that the group is still scattered over the area and a hunt was on to nab others to ascertain the Lashkar’s network in Kerala.

Another militant was killed in the same area but his identification showed that he was from Pakistan but was part of the same group that was exfiltrating into PoK along with a group of Keralites.

LeT has been trying to make inroads into the country’s hinterland and had sought recruits from various parts of the country.

In February, Mohammed Yahya Kammukutty hailing from Mukkom in Kozhikode district of Kerala, was arrested as part of a continuing probe into the Simi network in Karnataka that has already led to the arrest of six youths from northern Karnataka, including four medical students. end

Terror trail links Kerala with Kashmir

Praveen Swami, Oct 10, 2008

Men shot dead in Lolab among dozens who have trained with Lashkar-e-Taiba since 2001
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Police believe they were part of a group from Malappuram, holed out with a Lashkar unit

A Kerala-based SIMI organiser visited Sopore to help send the group to a Lashkar leader
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NEW DELHI: Investigators believe two Kerala men shot dead near the Line of Control in northern Jammu and Kashmir earlier this week were on their way to a Lashkar-e-Taiba-run training camp in Pakistan.

Little headway has so far been made towards identifying the two killed men, but circumstantial evidence — including a forged election identification card and handwritten religious texts in Malayalam — suggests they were indeed from Kerala.

Based on reports from informants, the Jammu and Kashmir police believe the killed men were part of a group of at least five men from Kerala’s Malappuram district who had been holed out with a Lashkar unit in the Lolab mountains this past month, waiting for an opportunity to cross the LoC safely.

According to the police’s informants, the five men were part of a larger group of 15 which included Pakistanis and ethnic Kashmiris. While the five Kerala men hoped to cross the LoC to train at Lashkar-run camps in Pakistan, the other 10 were returning at the end of tours of duty in Jammu and Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir police sources also said a Kerala-based SIMI organiser visited the north Kashmir town of Sopore five months ago to make arrangements for sending the group to the local Lashkar commander, code-named Qari Usman.

If the police are correct, it is possible the five men were recruited from amongst 40-odd Kerala residents believed to have trained at a SIMI camp in the forests around Thangalpara in the small plantation town of Wagamon in the autumn of 2007.

SIMI members who attended the training camp, which was one of a series of similar gatherings held in Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, received a basic combat-hardening education as well as the rudiments of bomb-making. Several suspects held in connection with the recent serial bombings in Gujarat, Rajasthan and New Delhi had participated in these camps — although none is thought to have gone on the train in Pakistan.

Training base

Peedical Abdul Shibli and his brother, Peedical Abdul Shaduli, who are alleged to have organised the training in Kerala, were arrested near Indore earlier this year.

Evidence has long existed that jihadists from across India are training with terror groups in Jammu and Kashmir.

As early as July 2001, police in Jalgaon arrested nine members of a SIMI-linked terror cell, who were alleged to have been preparing to bomb local offices of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Fourteen other cell members were later arrested from Kanpur, Hyderabad and New Delhi.

Several members of the cell, investigators found, had trained with the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen in Jammu and Kashmir. Three Jalgaon men — Sheikh Asif Supdu, Sheikh Khalid Iqbal and Sheikh Mohammad Hanif — are thought to have died in an encounter during their training in the remote mountains around Kishtwar, in Doda district.

Later, in 2002, at least six residents of Gujarat — from Ahmedabad, Bharuch and Surat — trained at joint Hizb-ul-Mujahideen-Lashkar bases in the Hil Kaka mountains, near the frontier town of Poonch. Most of the men had been recruited by Maulana Sufiyan Patangia — a shadowy figure central to the growth of the jihadist movement in the State after the 2002 communal massacres. Five of the group crossed the LoC to undergo advanced training while one, Munir Ahmad, was killed in an encounter with the Army.

In June, 2006, the Jammu and Kashmir police and the Army shot dead Maharashtra seminary student Mohammad Irfan near the town of Tral, in southern Kashmir. Irfan, whose family lives in the village of Mattaharam in Kolhapur district, was training with local Hizb-ul-Mujahideen cadre at the time of his death. Police in Maharashtra believed he joined the SIMI during his theological studies.

Later, in September, 2006, police in Gujarat arrested four students linked to the Dar-ul-Uloom Islamia Arabiyya seminary, on charges of sending local Islamists for training with the Lashkar-e-Taiba in the Poonch region of Jammu and Kashmir. A still-missing member of the ring, Mohammad Aslam Kashmiri, is believed to have arranged for the training of at least 12 men, including three with links to the terror cells which executed the 2006 serial bombings in Mumbai.

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