The Indian Mujahideen (IM), which was probably established with money from Pakistan’s ISI spy service, has received the Ali Baba treatment from one of their senior operatives. The IM collected zakat and hawala money for what they hoped would be a major attack against a stadium in southern India. But the attack was carried out on a shoestring budget, and Riyaz Bhatkal made off with the excess cash. From Rediff.com on Nov. 15:
‘Petty thief’ Riyaz Bhatkal torpedoes Indian Mujahideen’s plans
Riyaz Bhatkal, one of Indian Mujahideen’s most dreaded terrorists, is today perceived as a traitor for siphoning off funds, reports Vicky Nanjappa
When a Karnataka police official posted in Bhatkal town was asked about Riyaz, a wanted terrorist from the Indian Mujahideen, he quipped, “He was nothing but a chindi chor (petty thief) before he was roped in to become a big time terrorist.”
According to investigators who have been tracking the Indian Mujahideen, many members of the outfit were angry with Riyaz since they felt that he had betrayed them.
Riyaz Bhatkal had reportedly fled with a large amount of money from the IM’s coffers.
Riyaz, who hails from the coastal town of Bhatkal, was in possession of Rs 38 lakh that was collected through hawala transactions and donations. The money was supposed to be used for terror operations in and around Karnataka.
But the blasts near Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore in April, 2010, were not a costly affair at all. The terror operation, termed as a ‘flop’, could not have cost more than Rs 10,000, feel investigators.
Interrogations of suspected IM operatives have revealed that Bhatkal had siphoned off quite a bit of money just before he fled the country.
The IM has also faced deep divisions within its ranks over the issue of money. While it was founded for the purpose of propagating terrorism in India, some of its members have started using it as a money spinning business.
According to sources, when the IM was floated with the help of the Inter Services Intelligence, it was very clearly stated by the Pakistani spy agency that all the funds should be used to carry out terror activities in India.