From Azamgarh, Islamic terrorism shifted base to Pune
Posted by jagoindia on February 16, 2010
“It was here that I learnt that most of the boys had gone to Delhi, Mumbai and Pune to pursue studies or work. It was in these cities that they came in touch with terror modules and were indoctrinated.”
From Azamgarh, terror shifted base to Pune
By: Ketan Ranga Date: 2010-02-16, Midday
Ketan Ranga remembers the time in 2008 when Azamgarh was under the terror scanner, but all evidence hinted that the real terror hub was elsewhere
The serial blasts in Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Delhi and then the Batla House encounter in 2008 cleared up one thing.
Azamgarh had become the hub of terrorism in India.
Most of the terrorists whose names cropped in relation to these incidents were from Saraimeer, Sanjerpur and villages of Azamgarh.
On September 22, 2008, I went to Azamgarh to cover the arrest and deaths of some of the terrorists. In Saraimeer, I spoke to the families of the alleged terrorists. It was here that I learnt that most of the boys had gone to Delhi, Mumbai and Pune to pursue studies or work. It was in these cities that they came in touch with terror modules and were indoctrinated.
I was still in Azamgarh when the Mumbai police broke up the media wing of Indian Mujahideen (IM), which used to send terror mails before blasts. All those who were nabbed belonged to Pune, including Mansur Azhgar Peerbhoy, the software engineer who was responsible for hacking into unsecured WiFi connections to send terror mails. However, a number of people, including Mohsin Chowdhary, an accused in the Ahmedabad blasts and now a suspect in the Pune blast, went absconding and continued their work.
Further investigations revealed that many students and professionals came in touch with terror modules when they went for Arabic classes in Pune. Arif Bashir, another accused in the Ahmedabad blast, was the IM man who would identify candidates for indoctrination into terror activities at these classes.
The area in Pune where most students from Azamgarh were staying also came under the police scanner.
The police finally realised that the IM had its headquarters in Pune. It was discovered that IM modules from all over India came to Pune to hold meetings and recruit. In fact, even after various IM modules were broken and a number of terrorists were caught, the recruitment in Pune continued unabated.
This was 2008. Even then it was clear that the work on sleeper cells in Pune was progressing at great speed. The Azamgarh module was broken up, but Pune was fast becoming the next hub of terror.
Saturday’s blast at the German Bakery just sealed that conclusion.