Top Indian Mujahideen (IM) leaders have joined al-Qaeda and are “fighting in Afghanistan-Pakistan border” and Afghanistan, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed. Based on Internet chats among alleged leaders of the IM, the NIA has said that “one IM operative Bada Sajid is fighting in Afghanistan-Pakistan border region” and “was also wounded in one of the skirmishes”.
The claims are part of the supplementary chargesheet filed by the NIA against the alleged co-founder of the IM Yasin Bhatkal, his aide Asadullah Akhtar, and two other alleged IM members in a special court in Delhi.
According to the chargesheet, the IM is now an al-Qaeda affiliate whose members are trained by the global terror network, and who have been instructed to focus on Myanmar and to “kidnap Jews in India”.
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The chargesheet says that at a meeting in Dubai five years ago, the IM leadership decided to cut ties with Pakistan’s ISI, and join the al-Qaeda.
“Investigations revealed that during the stay of the accused (Akhtar) in Dubai (in 2008-09), Iqbal Bhatkal was elected as the leader of Indian Mujahideen and it was decided to sever the association with ISI as soon as possible, and shift towards the Al Qaida, since everyone unanimously felt that the ISI was against the true Jihadi ideology,” says the chargesheet.
“…Senior IM operatives… were not very happy with the ISI’s control on their activities and wanted to intensify their jihad… against India with the assistance of global terrorist organisations like the Al Qaida and the Taliban. The passion for fighting the NATO forces in Af-Pak region by becoming part of Al Qaida is also motivating the IM operatives based in Pakistan who internally want to maintain a distance from ISI. One IM operative Bada Sajid is learnt to be fighting in Afghanistan-Pakistan border region from the chat. He was also wounded in one of the skirmishes.”
Internet chats, the NIA says, have “established… that Riyaz Bhatkal travelled to the tribal belts… for establishing contacts with Al Qaida. After the meeting which was very fruitful, the Al Qaida gave specific tasks to the IM for execution and also agreed to train their cadres in terrorist activities”.
According to the chargesheet, the IM has split into two groups, one of which is led by “Sajid Sheikh @ Bada Sajid, 27, of Azamgarh, UP”, and the other by “Iqbal and Riyaz Bhatkal”. It quotes an alleged Internet chat between Riyaz Bhatkal and Yasin Batkal on May 17, 2013, during which Riyaz tells Yasin that “four persons had formed an opposite group of Iqbal Bhatkal — the four have refused to go to Afghanistan and are asking him to purchase/rent a new house for them”. The new group, according to the alleged chat, “wanted to make a group to be named as Tehreek-e-Taliban Hindustan (TTH)”.
Excerpts from the chargesheet:
“On 28 November 2012, Riyaz told Yasin that he had yesterday met a leader of the Taliban who was praising Yasin… Yasin asked whether he had met Hakimullah Mahsood, chief of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, which Riyaz denied. Riyaz told Yasin that the person he was referring to was once detained by whites (reference to NATO/US forces) but he had convinced them using the fake identity cards posing as a journalist…
“On December 16, 2012, Riyaz told Yasin that a boy who was in touch with them had been arrested a month ago and had told their names before the agency (ISI). After that senior ISI persons had come to meet them and cautioned them about their activities…
“On Jan 10, 2013, Riyaz shared his glee at the work done by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan…
“On March 26, 2013, Yasin told Riyaz that Daniyal (Asadullah Akhtar) had shown Vishwaroopam movie yesterday to him, and they discussed that in the beginning and the end of the movie talked about the arrival of Al Qaida in India which was going to be true…
“On May 11, 2013, Riyaz tells Yasin that two of their operatives Farhan and Sultan want to go to Syria for work…
“On May 16, 2013, Riyaz tells Yasin that he has decided that one IM cadre will go every month to Afghanistan by rotation…
“On May 18, 2013, Riyaz tells Yasin that he wants him to make passport without help of ISI and visit Pakistan so that he could take command and work together with Al Qaida.”
The NIA quotes an alleged web chat of May 24, 2013, saying Riyaz had, on a visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, “met a senior commander of Al Qaida who looked after South Asia (except Pakistan). Riyaz had requested him to make him meet Ayman al-Zawahiri but he told that he was not meeting anyone due to fear of drones. Riyaz had talked to Al Qaida operative in Urdu language and had discussed the two modes of functioning with Al Qaida — Taawun (assistance like in Yemen), and Bayat (pledge to obedience)”.
On July 17, 2013, in an alleged web chat between Asadullah and (alleged IM operative) Mirza Shadab Beg, “it was revealed that since last three days there was a secret meeting and the fallout was that they had formed a networking and connected with ‘micro’ (Al Qaida) of upar (Afghanistan) so they did not have to rely on the kutte (ISI) for anything. It was revealed that all decisions taken after that were taken from there,” says the chargesheet.