SIMI takes page from Al Qaeda financial playbookDecember 23, 2014
The Student Islamic Movement of India is copying old Al Qaeda financial tactics including forgery, counterfeiting, and keeping a stash cash on hand, according to South Asian news sources. In and of itself this might not be so alarming considering that Al Qaeda central never made very much money relative to more “traditional” terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, but Al Qaeda’s ISIS stepchild has shown that major terrorist movements can spring from relatively humble financial origins.
Earlier this year we reported that SIMI may have amassed a $20 million nest egg for future operations. Taken together, this news may suggest growing financial sophistication on SIMI’s part. Would have blogged about this sooner but other news kept coming up. From TNN two months ago:
SIMI fugitives operated on al-Qaida pattern
They followed the methods mentioned in the al-Qaida training manual. The manual was first implemented by al-Qaida while bombing US embassy in Kenya in 1998. It was produced as evidence in the case’s trial by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2001. FBI had first seized it from the laptop of an alleged al-Qaida operative in Manchester in UK.
The manual has notes on counterfeiting and forgery, security measures for undercover activities, and strategies in the case of arrest and indictment.
The way Students Islamic Movement of India operatives functioned shows they followed the manual in toto, say investigators following them. It guides on details like location of the hideout, lifestyle to be followed by operatives and keeping sufficient cash ready. Police had recovered Rs 9 lakh [14K USD] the SIMI fugitives had handed over to two persons in Bijnor with the promise that they would collect the cash when required. The manual also cautions operatives against living together and that all of the group members need not be aware of where the others are holed up.
Al-Qaida has already announced its intention to revive Islamist terrorism, which has ebbed in India following a crackdown on Indian Mujahideen cadres. Now, SIMI elements are being warmed up to replace them. While IM supports the Iraq-based ISIS, the SIMI operatives have cozied up to al-Qaida.
In the recent past, there have been reports that Qaidat al-Jihad or al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), a new outfit of al-Qaida, is setting up roots in India by recruiting operatives from IM and SIMI, to use their network…