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Home Ministry goes after home-grown jehadis

The counter-terror mechanism in the Home Ministry is undergoing a complete revamp post 26/11 with the internal security agencies...

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi/hyderabad | Published: February 18, 2009 12:28 am

The counter-terror mechanism in the Home Ministry is undergoing a complete revamp post 26/11 with the internal security agencies focusing on at least 16 identified Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorists and its leader Riyaz Bhatkal in a bid to plug recruitment of youth,particularly from the South,for indoctrination in jehad.

With arrested Pune mosque Maulvi Hussain Shabbir Mehruddin Gangavali admitting to IM recruiting youth in a big way even after 26/11,the security agencies have decided to go after the home-grown jehadis. Maulvi Gangavali,who was arrested on December 31 last year from Pune’s Janwadi Mosque,has told interrogators that he was instrumental in sending youth for subversive training at the behest of Bhatkal and his Lashkar-e-Toiba mentors.

Given the threat of home-grown terror,the Intelligence Bureau (IB) has decided to expand its operation wing with the induction of another senior officer,Vikram Thakur from Orissa. The newly empowered Multi-Agency Centre (MAC) has also been expanded by the IB with the induction of additional DIG level IPS officers. It is now order of the day that the threats to the country are discussed at the MAC meeting with mandatory representatives from the three armed forces and paramilitary forces.

The IB has also decided to take over immigration at Shamsabad airport in Hyderabad and the Bangalore airport. It is suspected that the two airports have been used over the past two years by terrorists to fly out of India. “IB personnel are better trained,professionally equipped,and have a wider perspective on the entire gamut of immigration procedures,” said Aravinda Rao,additional DG,police (Intelligence).

It is believed that Bhatkal is still operating from India. Subhan Tauqeer,a key suspect in the Ahmedabad,Bangalore,Jaipur and Delhi blasts,has escaped to Pakistan. A list of 16 other IM suspects have been drawn up and a manhunt has been launched to nab them.

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