Islamic Terrorism in India

Most Muslims are not terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims

Archive for the ‘Goa’ Category

Indian Muslim Raziuddin Naser’s 18-month, multi-location terrorist training programme in Pakistan

Posted by jagoindia on February 23, 2009

Our Internal Insecurity
Ashok Malik, Hindustan Times
February 19, 2009

On the morning of January 11, 2008, at Honnali on the Hosur-Hubli road in Karnataka, a policeman stopped two young men riding a motorcycle. One of them was not wearing a helmet. The usual questions followed, papers were demanded and it was found that the motorcyclists were carrying several number-plates, ostensibly assigned in several states.

The two men were arrested. One of them, Raziuddin Naser, originally from Hyderabad, turned out to be a key operative of the Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi) — later to metamorphose into the Indian Mujahideen (IM) — somebody the Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat Police had been seeking.

Naser and his accomplice were on their way to Goa, as he told interrogators, to “conduct serial blasts… to kill Israeli and American tourists“. If that mission had gone well, he was due to travel to Bangalore to attempt to bomb installations of IT companies. Naser’s statement before the Karnataka police makes for fascinating reading. In the context of the rather pointless debate about whether the ten Pakistani terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26, 2008, had “local support” or did not, it is worth revisiting what Naser told his questioners about the methods and motivational protocols of domestic jihadists.

Of course, no single interrogation or piece of evidence can reveal the entire truth. Yet, from what intelligence and anti-terrorist agencies have gathered over the past year — the Anti-Terrorist Squads (ATS) in Lucknow, Mumbai and Gandhinagar, in particular, are sitting on a mine of information, as are police officers in locations as far apart as Bhopal and Hyderabad — the different, disparate pieces of the jigsaw begin to fit. It becomes obvious that the interoperability of and relationship between groups such as the IM and external agents recruited in, say, Pakistani Punjab and trained in Lashkar-e-Tayyeba (LeT) camps, are neither absolute nor completely absent.

Naser is the son of a religio-political preacher called Mohammed Naseeruddin. Secretary of the Hyderabad-based Tehreek Tahfuzz Shaeer-e-Islam, the father was once arrested by the local police for terror-related activities. In October 2004, he was arrested by the Gujarat Police in the Old City of Hyderabad, in an operation that was hindered by massive crowds and led to firing in which a local youth was killed. By then, Naser and at least one of his brothers — now also in the custody of the Karnataka Police — were already converts. Naser explained that after 9/11, he had been much taken with the idea of joining the jihad against America in Afghanistan.In August 2005, he travelled to Saudi Arabia, a trip facilitated by a Hyderabadi friend whose brother, Abdul Samad, lived in Jeddah. Samad sent Naser for what eventually became an 18-month, multi-location training programme in Pakistan.

It is here that the story gets interesting. Naser describes different types of training in different cities. From Karachi, he is driven to Gwadar (Baluchistan), where he is introduced — along with others — to the use of assault rifles that include AK-47s, light-machine guns, “Bren machine guns…. Austrian Styre sniper rifles” and so on.

At the LeT complex of Markaz Tayyabah, near Lahore, he is taught horse riding. In Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, in Muzaffarabad and Manshehra — where one of his co-trainees is a Maldives national called ‘Abu Zaid’, who Naser says was later killed in the Kashmir Valley — and in a “mountainous” training centre he learns about “guerrilla warfare, ambush, hideout, raid, camouflage, recce…” In Rawalpindi, he learns of the “use of satellite phones… [and] disadvantages of using mobile and land lines”. In PoK again, he mixes hydrogen peroxide with rice, dal, mehndi and tobacco, and produces explosives. When Naser was arrested, he was on his way to waylay a truck that he knew was carrying hydrogen peroxide — a chemical that has industrial uses but is also present in cosmetics. He was to carry a part of his loot to Goa and execute the bombings. The use of hydrogen peroxide, easily available and not as difficult to source as say RDX, was seen as a cheap, low-cost terror mechanism.

It is worth noting that the 2008 terror bombings in, for example, Delhi and Ahmedabad also used commonly accessible chemicals. Earlier, two suspected terrorists had been arrested in Goa — in an incident unrelated to Naser — while working in a beauty parlour, attempting to pilfer cosmetics and hydrogen peroxide.

On January 1, 2008, in preparation for the Goa mission, a contact called ‘Aslam’ had visited Naser in Hubli and gave him two fake student identity cards — of BVB College of Engineering, Hubli, and of St Aloysius College. Ironically, the terrorists who attacked the Taj Mahal and Oberoi Hotels in Mumbai also carried student identity cards related to Karnataka-based colleges. Is this suggestive of a local link, admittedly a low-level and possibly non-lethal one, or is this a mere coincidence?

Was the intensive, sometimes commando-style training Naser got indicative of his recruiters identifying him for a high-profile urban guerrilla-style attack and then deciding he wasn’t up to it and demoting him to the less sophisticated, hydrogen peroxide type bombings? Do the 26/11 attacks and the dozen-odd bombings that major Indian cities experienced in 2007-08 form a continuum? To the UPA government, have these become inconvenient truths?

(Ashok Malik is a Delhi-based writer)

Posted in Bangalore, Goa, India, Indian Mujahideen, Indian Muslims, Islamofascism, Jihad, Karnataka, Pakistan, SIMI, State, Terrorism | 1 Comment »

Muslim terror sends Mumbai, Goan tourism reeling

Posted by jagoindia on December 4, 2008

Terror hits tourism, 40 per cent booking cancelled
Sonal Joshi & Raksha Shetty / CNN-IBN

Dec 01, 2008

Mumbai: Mumbai is just waking up after the nightmare. The images beamed across the world by news networks have shaken many who were planning to visit the country.

According to Industry sources, over 40 per cent of the holidaymakers have cancelled their bookings. People are also planning to fly less. Bookings to holiday destinations like Goa are down by over 60 per cent.

‘‘The impact has been tremendous and absolutely phenomenal in the negative flipside” says MD, Travel Agents Assn of India, Rajinder Rai.

After Britain, US, France, Singapore and Australia advised their citizens against travelling to Mumbai, hotels are seeing a 20-25 per cent increase in cancellations..

‘‘On the tourism front we had close to 40 per cent cancellation and on corporate front its about 15 per cent cancellations,” MD, India & Middle East, FCM Travel Solutions, Rahul Nath.

Every year it’s between November and Feberuary that India sees a maximum amount of tourist traffic, this year however cancellation have already begun

The immediate short term impact of this terror attack is likely to last for a month but its the long term loss that the industry is worried about top tourist destinations like Agra, Jaipur, Goa and Kerala could also suffer.

Mumbai terror strikes take a toll on Goa tourism sector
Prakash Kamat

Panaji, Nov. 29

Already facing the rigours of economic meltdown worldwide, Goan hospitality and travel-tour operators have hit the panic button with cancellations from foreign tourists already trickling down following adverse travel advisories from different countries to their citizens against travel to India post Mumbai terror strikes.

To add to their woes, Goan hotels and tour operators on Friday found themselves confronted with the revival of a domestic problem with around 1,000 taxi operators across the State resorting to intimidation to tourists outside different hotels and tour operator premises.

The taxi operators have gone on strike complaining about lack of fair share of business and blame tour operators and star hotels for the same.

Members of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, body representing hotels and tour operators, led by its President, Mr Ralph de Souza, blamed the State’s law and order agencies of failing to provide any protection to tourists from the intimidation and threats from taxi operators.

“When the foreign tourists are already facing uncertainty owing to the terror strikes in Mumbai, it is most deplorable that the tourist operators are trying to kill the golden goose by their action, the image of Goa is taking a beating” said Mr de Souza at a press conference on Friday where members of the industry narrated the problems faced by them throughout the day when tourists wherein their coaches were stopped, tourists inconvenienced while trying to reach the airport, etc.

On the after effect of the Mumbai terror strike, Mr. de Souza said while latest adverse travel advisories from US, Australia, France and UK had increased the flow of anxious inquiries from tourists from these countries and a few cancellations that followed, what had shocked them more was 12 cancellations received by tour operators by Friday from Russians.

“There is apprehension, the number might increase,” said Mr de Souza. He explained that adverse travel advisories hit the tourism in two-ways, namely, it results in full refund on cancellation and secondly the possibility of increase in insurance premium makes travel costly for the tourist.

While so far no charter flight has been cancelled, the industry is apprehensive about the number of tourists that would arrive in charter flights in the present scenario.

Goa annually gets over 700 chartered flights, mostly from European countries. The beach destination, which gets repeat tourists primarily from UK, gets around 50 per cent of its around 3.5 lakh foreign arrivals through charters.

Mr Earnest Dias of SITA Travels and Vice-President of TTAG, said the FIT(free of itinerary travel) segment of foreign tourist is virtually set to be doomed because the travel advisories.

What seems to be worrying the Goan tourism industry is the near certain decline it could face during the prime tourist season, the Christmas and New year celebrations when Goan tourism is traditionally at its peak.

While Goan hoteliers had seen reason and in the midst of the season had resorted to correction of room tariffs by offering special offers by reducing tariffs ranging to 20-25 per cent post the latest World Travel marts in different countries, the latest terrorist crisis seems to have negated the effect of the same.

Mr Deepak Bhatnagar, Vice-President of le passage to India, a tour operator group, told, “The Goan industry had realised its folly that high pricing could invite doom in the midst of worldwide recession and the idea of special offers was intended to stimulate demand. And yes, it had indeed got results. But now it looks like the Christmas and New year celebrations could come a cropper if adverse travel advisories continue.”

Admitting the serious problem of cancellations of bookings by foreigners after Mumbai terror strike, the Managing Director of Cidade de Goa, a prominent five star resort in north Goa, said “the tourism industry in Goa would have to tighten its belt to sustain and remain in business in days to come. Difficult days are ahead.”

The industry has already taken measures to up its security arrangements in hotels and other tourism-related establishments and has been fully cooperating with the police and other agencies in terms of sensitising various stake-holders of tourism to the terror threat, said Mr de Souza.

Posted in Goa, Islam, Islamofascism, Maharashtra, Mumbai, State, Terrorism | 1 Comment »

Goa: Breakthrough in 20 temple desecrations, Muslim arrested, see video

Posted by jagoindia on November 10, 2008

Youtube: Temple descerations in Goa: Click here

Shoot Goa temple desecrators: Congress
November 8th, 2008 – 4:46 pm ICT by IANS –

Panaji, Nov 8 (IANS) The Goa Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC) has advocated shoot-at-sight orders in order to curb the rising incidents of desecration of religious structures in the state. Chief Minister Digambar Kamat and the home minister were present at the GPCC executive committee meeting, which took place Friday evening, after yet another series of temple desecrations in South Goa.

“We have demanded that the chief minister should issue shoot-at-sight orders for these temple desecrators,” said party president Subhash Shirodkar, adding that some “forces” were trying to communally divide the people of Goa.

Goa’s temple desecration mystery deepened further, as three more idols were vandalized Friday, a few days after the Goa police Crime Branch claimed to have made a breakthrough.

Agitated villagers from the Quepem region in South Goa brought traffic to a standstill Friday when they learnt that the Sateri temple and two other shrines were vandalized at Kalsai, Dabhal Friday.

Speaking to reporters, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rohitdas Patre said that the police had detained four people in connection with the case.

“We are interrogating them. They were picked up from the jungles in the vicinity of the religious structure,” Patre told reporters.

Crime branch officials also visited the site and interrogated the detained persons.

Earlier this week, the crime branch which had been entrusted with the case had claimed to have achieved a major breakthrough, with the arrest of 25-year-old Razak Sheikh, a resident of South Goa. He was arrested after desecration of another temple at Paroda, also in South Goa.

Police claim to have found Razak’s identity card at the temple site. The Crime branch Special Investigating Team (SIT) which is handling the case had claimed that this was a major breakthrough in the series of incidents involving vandalisation of churches and temples in the state.

This year alone has seen about 20 such incidents. The state administration has announced an award of Rs.100,000 for any credible information about the perpetrators.

In October the Bharatiya Janata Party-sponsored outfit, the Mandir Suraksha Samiti, had called for a state-wide shutdown in protest against the state’s inaction to curb attempts at desecration of religious structures.
Paroda temple desecration:Crime Branch sleuths nab 1

The Crime Branch today arrested one Razak Sheikh (25) resident of Shirvoi, Quepem in connection with the idol desecration reported recently at Mules-Paroda.

Sources in the Crime Branch said that Razak was picked up from his residence after enquiries revealed his involvement in the incident.

The police claim that they have enough evidence of his involvement but declined to disclose it.

Sources said the accused was still being interrogated and Crime Branch sleuths expect Razak to disclose names of his accomplices. It may be recalled that unknown vandals had desecrated idols and other religious articles at the Mahadev Temple and Satteri Temple in the early hours of October 18.

The incidents provoked public outrage in Quepem taluka and residents blocked roads at Gudi and Paroda along the Margao-Quepem route.

Earlier, unknown persons had also desecrated the Rakhandar at Uskiniarik, besides attempts to break into a temple atop Cancanamodi hillock in Cuncolim had also come to light. The case is being investigated by the Special Investigation Team of the Crime Branch.

Posted in Goa, Indian Muslims, Islam, Islamofascism, State, Terrorism, Video | Leave a Comment »

Goa on red alert in anticipation of Islamic terror strike

Posted by jagoindia on September 23, 2008

Terrorist fears trigger Goa alert

BANGALORE/THRISSUR/PANAJI, Sept. 21: After Bangalore, Ahmedabad and Delhi, terrorists were suspected to be planning a strike in Goa, sparking an alert in the coastal state where security was enhanced today in and around key installations and railway station.

Karnataka home minister Mr VS Acharya said in Bangalore that his government had been tipped off by the Kerala Police that a consignment of explosives had been placed aboard a train that left Thiruvananthapuram today for being used for a terror strike in Goa. “We have received information that the train carries explosives for a strike in Goa,” he told reporters.

A Thiruvananthapuram report said the Netravati Express bound for Kurla, a Mumbai suburb, was thoroughly searched at Thrissur today but nothing was found. Mr Acharya said the Karnataka police were “all prepared” to conduct a search of the train when it reached the state’s border. Taking no chances, the Goa police stepped up security around all the vital establishments and also increased surveillance along the railway station. The Goa police said they have received inputs from Kerala police about the train laden with explosives.

“We are on our toes and have kept all the arrangements ready,” the Superintendent of Police, Mr Atmaram Deshpande, who heads the state’s special cell, said.

“We are checking almost all the trains. The bomb disposal squad is also pressed into service,” Mr Deshpande said. Reacting to media reports quoting terrorists arrested in Delhi that they had Goa next on their target, Mr Deshpande said they have not received any such confessional statements from the Delhi police.  End

September 22, 2008

Panaji, Sept. 22 (ANI): Goa Police on Monday sounded a red alert in the state in anticipation of a terror strike. The State’s Inspector General of Police, Kishan Kumar, has asked all police stations to tighten security in their respective jurisdictions.

The red alert is sounded as we do not want to take any chance and we are undertaking intense checking of all the vehicles, Samy Tavares, special officer attached with the DGP, told reporters here.

Police said all vehicles, especially those leading towards the coastal part of the state, are being thoroughly checked.

Areas frequented by tourists are also being watched for suspicious activity. (ANI)

Posted in Goa, Indian Muslims, Islamofascism, Kerala, State, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

SIMI underwent ideological change and split in April 2007

Posted by jagoindia on September 4, 2008

Key details of SIMI plans confirmed

Vicky Nanjappa
September 04, 2008 11:28 IST

Joining the dots has always been a major concern for security agencies while handling cases pertaining to terrorism.

However, security agencies have something to smile about now, with the alleged mastermind in the Jaipur blasts case revealing key details about the Students Islamic Movement of India, which infact corroborates with the statements given by Riazuddin Nasir, the Lashkar-e-Tayiba operative arrested in Karnataka earlier this year.

Both investigating agencies as well as the Intelligence Bureau are now taking a relook at the statements given by the various SIMI operatives. If one looks at the statements given by Safdar Nagori, Riazuddin Nasir and now Shahbaz Hussain, it becomes clear that the all important meeting at Castle Rock, which is around 80 km from Hubli in northern Karnataka propelled SIMI into a different league.

All the above mentioned persons have stated during their interrogation that SIMI underwent a change, ideologically, during this all important meet on April 25, 2007.

Nagori had said during his interrogation that there was a vertical split in SIMI in which some of its members had decided to take a more peaceful path.

However, the Nagori faction had maintained after that the only way to take the fight forward was by using force. He said that this decision came in the wake of a meeting at Ujjain. Following the Ujjain meeting, the SIMI cadres under Nagori met at Castle Rock where they planned the next course of action.

IB sources told that even Shahbaz Hussain confessed during his interrogation recently that they had planned a major strike in which they could get international attention. The initial plan warns to carry out a terror strike in Goa [Images] with the target being foreign tourists. This, according to them, would help in getting them international attention.

Nasir, during his interrogation, had said that he was assigned the task of first stealing vehicles and then driving them down to Goa. There he had planned to line up the bomb-laden vehicles and carry out a series of attacks. Shahbaz Hussain too confirmed during the interrogation that at the Castle Rock meeting they had planned a major attack in Goa. However, they had to cancel their plan as Nasir had been arrested by the Karnataka police.

The IB said that SIMI, which was more into providing logistic support all these years, wanted to come back with a bang. Although the Castle Rock meeting concentrated largely on an attack in Goa, there were discussions regarding a blast at Gujarat too. The plan to attack Gujarat was planned way back in 2005 during a meeting at Yavatmal in 2005.

It was here that Nagori told his cadres that the only way to fight was on a tit-for-tat basis. However, the plans to carry out an attack as early as 2006 did not materialise as there were differences among the members.

The IB said that by the time the outfit met at Castle Rock they had sorted out their differences and the meeting focused largely on the role to be played by SIMI in India operations. The meeting was headed by Nagori and was attended by the likes of Nasir, Hussain, Mufti Abu Basher, Peedical Shibly, Adnan, Yahya Kamakutty among others.

Nasir said during his interrogation that following the meeting at Castle Rock, some of the members met near the Hubli bus stand in a room where they assembled bombs. These bombs were carried to various parts of the country including Ahmedabad and Bengaluru. However, there were instructions to carry out the Goa attack first as the SIMI was desperately in need of worldwide recognition.

The first of the ideological changes that SIMI underwent during the Hubli meeting was that it no longer wanted to be identified as a students movement. The IB said that both Basher and Hussain, during their interrogation, said that they had decided to remove the age bar of 30 to be a member of the outfit. The membership was made open to all and also the clause of suspending members who went abroad was removed.

During the meeting Nagori had stressed on the fact that SIMI would take up the cause of Muslims worldwide and hence the word India would be removed from the outfit.

Posted in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Goa, Gujarat, Intelligence Agencies, Islamofascism, Karnataka, SIMI, State, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

SIMI may shift to Goa and Maharashtra from BJP-ruled Karnataka

Posted by jagoindia on June 28, 2008

SIMI may shift to Goa from BJP-ruled Karnataka, ex-CM warns

With Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government taking over the reigns in Karnataka, it is becoming unsafe for SIMI activists who are shifting their base to Goa and Maharashtra, Leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar said today.

Parrikar told presspersons, quoting mediareports which has carried confession of SIMI activists arrested in Karnataka recently that “it is clearly mentioned that SIMI activists have named Goa as one of their operational area,” he said.

The BJP leader said his party’s rule in Karnataka is likely to weed out the SIMI activities forcing them to look for new grounds.

The former Chief Minister said the police have confirmed about activities of SIMI and certain elements having links with naxal-like organizations in the state.

He said though these activities have not reached a `dangerous level’ police needs to check them.

“There are certain sections which are trying to induce elements of extremism amongst the mining-hit villagers. They have links with certain outfits like naxalite movement,” Parrikar said.

Posted in BJP, Goa, Islamofascism, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Maoists/naxalites, SIMI, State, Terrorism | Leave a Comment »

Goa on radar of Islamic terrorists

Posted by jagoindia on May 24, 2008

Goa on terrorist radar
Senior Reporter

PANAJI — Some past incidents and recent indications suggest that Goa is on the radar of terrorist groups, according to information gathered from various official agencies involved in counter-terrorism.

The latest decision of the state government to deploy paramilitary forces at the main temples and churches and direct popular nightclubs to enhance security for themselves with technical security devices like CCTVs is believed to be motivated by the growing threat perception.

Agencies feel that Goa is a soft target and receives domestic and foreign tourists in a large number, which makes it an ‘attractive target’ for terror groups.

Agencies reveal that Lashkar-e-Toiba came very close to carrying out an explosion at a popular nightclub in Baga on December 31 last, authoritative sources revealed on Friday.

Disclosing that a few suspected members of the group travelled to Goa from Karnataka and used a bike stolen from some part of Goa during their stay, the sources said the ultras’ target was one of the few most popular nightclubs along the Baga beach on the eve of New Year’s celebrations. However, the terrorists could not execute their plan because the explosives did not reach them in time.

The terrorists, who were part of the ‘Operation Nightclub’, were members of a group of terrorists belonging to the LeT and the Students Islamic Movement of India. The Karnataka police later arrested them. The group of four comprised Riyazuddin Naser from Hyderabad and Asadullah Abu Bakr, Mohammad Asif and Allah Baksh, all medical students from Karnataka.

Naser and Asadullah were arrested in Davangere district’s Honnali town earlier this year for possessing stolen two-wheelers and following information provided by them, Asif and Baksh were picked up in Hubli and Gulbarga respectively.

The first two had reportedly disclosed to the police during interrogation their links with the SIMI and the LeT and were asked to plan blasts in vital spots, including IT establishments in the city, temples and dams and famous beaches of Goa frequented by foreign tourists.

A suspected terrorist is in police custody after he was arrested in Margao with some grenades and other incriminating material. That case is in the court.

Though terror groups based in another state or country usually need criminal networks and collaborators from among ordinary folks called ‘sleeper cells’, there is no evidence so far that the terrorists who stayed in Goa or planned to execute an explosion at a nightclub in Baga on last New Year eve had any local links for logistical and manpower support.

However, the sources said the same conduits that smuggle drugs and liquor are the ones that could be used to smuggle in explosives and arms.

The general perception is that our people are so used to taking a few rupees and looking the other way that the local law and order machinery has still not realised that our state could be the next in firing line.

The conduits that smuggle anything in use the established channels. For example if a ‘mule’ or carrier who is normally used to smuggle drugs is given a packet of RDX, he does not know what he carries as he is not told about the shipment. He is just told to deliver the package and paid for that particular job.

Another soft spot is the coast. Our coastline is to be patrolled by the coastal police from 0-10 nautical miles; from 10 to international waters is manned by the Coast Guard and the international waters are defended by the Navy.

However, our coastal security is non-existent with neither proper equipment nor manpower. The coastal police, the sources say, have to make do with canoes.

Also the west coast along Karwar and Sindhdurg is porous too and this coast is close to sensitive spots like Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad as well as Goa.

There are also plenty of supply points in these areas.

Security analysts observe that threats can be minimised by maintaining vigilance and hope that the terrorists are deterred by the obstacles that are places put in their way.

A peculiar aspect of terrorism, which is observed in the world, is financing of terror network through drugs. It is observed that poppy cultivation thrives in Afghanistan, which is in the neighbourhood of India. Once the drugs come into India through some of the country’s borders in the North, they can reach anywhere in Goa, which is part of international drug route. The police admit that there is menace of drugs along the state’s coastal belt.

The Goan drug enforcement agency is undermanned and has no hi-tech equipment besides being tainted by the stain of corruption.

A police officer, complaining about the level of co-operation among the general public, was of the opinion that illiterate people tend to cooperate more with the police and the literate feel that they will fall in a trap. In spite of having knowledge they do not pass on information.

Posted in Goa | Leave a Comment »