Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad- City Police on Wednesday arrested two alleged members of the newly-created “electronic warfare technology group’’ of (effectively non-existent) Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), which allegedly helped create a network for the Indian branch of al-Qaeda.
Police said that Shah Mudassir alias Talha, 25, a resident of Omerkhed, Maharashtra, and Shoaib Ahmed Khan alias Tariq, 24, of Hingoli, Maharashtra, were arrested after a CCTV camera at Secunderabad Railway Station captured their suspicious movements. The duo were allegedly waiting for their local contact Mohthasim Billa, son of MAULANA ABDUL ALEEM ISLAHI, an alleged SIMI activist, who runs a madrasa for women in Saidabad.
Police said the two had allegedly come to Hyderabad from Maharashtra and planned to go to Afghanistan to be trained by al-Qaeda, after which they would return to India to wage ‘jihad’.
However, counter-terror officers were unable to provide convincing answers about the place and the time of the arrests, leading to speculation that they might have been picked up from the funeral of former SIMI president Salahuddin Ahmed, who died in a road accident in Nalgonda district last week.
“Mudassir runs a general store at Omerkhed. He is a BA graduate and has been a member of SIMI’s youth wing Shaheen Force since his childhood. After SIMI was banned in 2001, he became a member of Association of Indian Minority Students, a front organisation of SIMI,’’ an official said.
He added that Shoaib is an associate of Mansoor Ali Peerboy, the former media in charge of Indian Mujahideen’s Pune Module. “He (Shoaib) is tech-savvy,’’ the official said, adding that the duo are adept at using social networks to propagate ‘jihad’, and have many Facebook accounts.
Police said that it was through Facebook that the duo came in contact with Billa, who asked them to come to Hyderabad. Police said Billa often used social networking sites to motivate youths to join ‘jihad’.
They also claimed the duo got in touch with one Kamaan Shah of Pakistan, who motivated them to manufacture bombs and trigger blasts in Maharashtra and told them that “it would give a lot of satisfaction and happiness to those who want see the news of bomb blast in India’’. Shah also shared literature on Facebook, wherein three methods of manufacturing explosives from easily available chemicals was narrated, police said.
Deputy Commissioner R Jaylakshmi said they were still authenticating the names and alias given by the duo. “They could be totally false or fictitious,” she said.
According to police, Mudassir and Shoaib visited Hyderabad on September 3 and met Billa, who motivated them to go to Afghanistan via Bangladesh, get trained by al-Qaeda and return to wage jihad in India to establish an Islamic State. Billa even offered to extend financial support for the duo’s Visa processing and asked them to come to Hyderabad after October 10 for further instructions.
Accordingly, Mudassir and Shoaib visited Hyderabad
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