Posts Tagged ‘Student Islamic Movement of India’

h1

SIMI takes page from Al Qaeda financial playbook

December 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…

Advertisements
h1

India: 5 bank robberies funded 2 mass casualty terrorist attacks

June 8, 2014

Two terrorist bomb attacks in India in 2013—the October bombing in Patna which killed 6 and injured 85, and July bombings at Bodh Gaya that injured 6—were funded by five bank robberies by jihadists in Madhya Pradesh.

This revelation comes from Indian Mujahideen operative Haider Ali, also known as “Black Beauty,” who participated in the Patna and Bodh Gaya bombings. Black Beauty received money for the attacks from Abu Faizal, also known as “Doctor,” who is in charge of the terrorist group Student Islamic Movement of India’s (SIMI) chapter in Madhya Pradesh. Doctor allegedly masterminded the bank robberies in the region to finance the bombings.

This case illustrates a new and menacing level of collaboration between the Indian Mujahideen and SIMI. From the Telegraph (hat tip to Jai) on May 29:

Bank loot finger at Simi for attacks

RAMASHANKAR

Students’ Islamic Movement of India (Simi) members have looted nationalised banks to fund their terror activities in the country, according to the confession of an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative.

A National Investigation Agency (NIA) team took Haider Ali, alias Black Beauty, an alleged Indian Mujahideen operative, in remand on Friday.

Ali, along with three other key suspects in the 2013 serial bomb blasts in Patna and Bodhgaya, were arrested from Jharkhand last week. He is in remand till June 6. Ali (26), originally from Aurangabad, told the interrogators that he used to receive money from Abu Faizal, alias Doctor, the self-styled chief of the Madhya Pradesh Simi unit, to carry out terror attacks. He claimed that Faizal also provided funds for the Patna and the Bodhgaya blasts.

He purportedly revealed that Faizal was the brain behind five bank robberies in Madhya Pradesh, including a Mallapuram heist in Khandwa in which Rs 1.25 crore was looted in October last year. Ali had gone to Khandwa to meet Faizal before the terror attacks in Bihar last year.

A senior official of a central intelligence agency said Ali’s confession has helped the intelligence and security agencies to establish a link between the IM and Simi, declared a banned outfit in 2001…

h1

India’s jihadists atop $20 million nest egg

May 19, 2014

That’s 20 million U.S. dollarsnot rupees. The money was routed in smaller increments through Islamic charities in Kashmir to avoid detection. Twenty million dollars is an enormous sum of money for any terrorist group (suggesting state sponsorship from Pakistan, or perhaps the Arab states in the Gulf), much less for what are typically regarded as middling regional terrorist organizations liken the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and the Indian Mujahideen.

One disturbing aspect of this report is the statement that, “The [law enforcement] agencies believe that only a part of this money has been spent and much of it is still in their kitty, to be used as and when they decide to launch a major attack.” Indeed, that is enough money to pay operatives and sustain routine operations for several years, and still have more than enough money left over to launch a major 26/11 Mumbai style terrorist attack.

Thanks to El Grillo for sending in related news, which seems to be an update to reporting originally conducted by rediff.com last year when the amount of money in question was somewhat smaller. From News Room Post:

SIMI and IM have $ 20 million to spread terror in India, say sleuths

But where has this money been secreted away? This is what the joint team of Delhi and MP police, and the IB, want to find out. The investigating agencies say that with the prospects of the BJP taking power at the Centre becoming brighter these terror outfits would be raring to go after the new government

The most disturbing aspect of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) is that it has become self reliant, with a well oiled network capable of sources arms and raising finances on its own.

The Madhya Pradesh and Delhi police along with the Intelligence Bureau are poised to conduct a joint investigation of SIMI’s activities, whose prime objective is to find out where the terror outfit and its partner Indian Mujahideen (IM) have secreted away the $ 20 million that were sanctioned by their handlers.

Investigators are also keen to learn about SIMI’s revival strategy. They feel that as the possibility of a BJP-led government taking power at the Centre in Delhi becomes stronger SIMI too would have firmed up its resolve to create trouble for it. The outfits also have support from disillusioned and indoctrinated Muslims who easily get drawn to them.

The $20 million for SIMI and the IM are reportedly being routed through a ”charity organisation” in Jammu and Kashmir and are part of the $ 100 million that were sanctioned for terror activities in India over the past six years through similar fronts.

During their investigation the agencies, including the National Investigation Agency (NIA), found that the money was pumped in through charity outfits like the Jammu and Kashmir Affectees Relief Trust.

The agencies believe that only a part of this money has been spent and much of it is still in their kitty, to be used as and when they decide to launch a major attack. Both SIMI and the IM want to be completely independent in their operations without any kind of dependency on overseas terror groups. The homegrown terror groups, rather than depending on funds and ammunition from others, have connected with illegal arms dealers in the country. They also procure ammonium nitrate, which is used in making bombs, from underground suppliers in Kerala. In fact Kerala police have sounded a major alert to keep checks on the transport of the deadly substance, the sale of which is strictly regulated.

The reason why SIMI and the IM seek to operate independently of overseas groups is because the chances of the money trail getting busted are higher when foreign transactions are involved. This is particularly so with the Gulf becoming extremely strict in the matter. As a result these outfits have been routing the money through ”charity organisations” and ”NGOs” — which are actually fronts that collect the funds in a seemingly legitimate way to spend it illegitimately…

h1

Jamaat intertwined with sharia banks and Islamic charities

January 23, 2014

Analyst Chris Blackburn has written an undated piece documenting the abuses of Jamaat-e-Islami, the radical Islamic political party in Bangladesh, and its support networks.  The article caught our attention when it was reposted in December on a Google group forum by Bangladeshi progressive Suhas Barua.  The write-up is especially timely and relevant considering how Jamaat has attempted to use money from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to attack moderate and secular elements in Bangladesh and short-circuit the ongoing war crimes trials against arch-Islamist operatives.

Blackburn provides valuable insights into the role of the sharia finance house Islami Bank Bangladesh, Arab businessmen, and Gulf- and Western-based Islamic charities in the financing of South Asian terrorist organizations:

Jamaat-i-Islami has been involved in murder, terrorism, intimidation and bigotry from it’s direct participation in war crimes during the 1971 War of Liberation to it’s involvement in pursuing sectarian violence against the Ahmadi sect in Pakistan and Bangladesh . Recently the Jamaat has been threatening the lives of journalists in Bangladesh if they continue to report and uncover the Jamaat and Shibir’s ties to militancy . A democracy must be allowed to have a free press- all actions must be taken to ensure this type of intimidation does not persist during the forthcoming elections.

The Jamaat-Bangladesh has been repeatedly linked to terrorist organisations mainly due to the fact that the majority of leaders and terrorists belonging to Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata (JMJB) have past histories of involvement with Jamaat and the Islami Chhatra Shibir .

The Islami Bank Bangladesh (IBBL) is also linked to militancy and is controlled by the Jamaat – banks which act as foreign sponsors of IBBL have previously been used or have been accused of funnelling money to al-Qaeda linked militants and supporting radical Islamism in other countries. Yassin Qadi, a US and UN designated financier of terrorism’s family are also close to the bank . Qadi is a Saudi businessman and is the son-in-law of Sheikh Ahmed Salah Jamjoom, a foreign sponsor of IBBL . Jamjoom was a former finance minister in the Saudi government. It is not known if Qadi has direct ties to the bank. The Kuwaiti based Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS) also had accounts at the bank they are suspected of financing terrorism in Bangladesh and elsewhere- it is believed that the organisation helped finance the 17th August serial bombings in 2005 .

The links between the IBBL and the International Islamic University (Chittagong) – show how the Jamaat-Ikwhan is growing in influence in education- mainly in Dawa and Islamic financial sectors. The Jamaat- Shibir Bangladesh has also acted as a funding conduit for the ISI and the Jamaat-Pakistan . In 2000 Indian intelligence agencies intercepted a letter from Jamaat leaders which acknowledges that monies had been transferred through Jamaat-Bangladesh to the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA) from Jamaat-Pakistan . It must be noted that the US State Department and the US Department of Justice are concerned that the Bangladeshi Government is not investigating 45 major money laundering cases related to International terrorism; they believe it is due to political reasons- the US sent a team of officials from the Department of Justice to Dhaka to directly talk to their opposite numbers, this meeting was meant to be secret but was leaked to the press because of the frustration at the lack of progress .

MULTA is a terrorist organisation which is working towards turning Assam, a region in North India, into an Islamic enclave which will be run by Shariah law. The group has been involved in bombings and assassinations of civic leaders in Assam. MULTA works closely with Harkat-ul-Jihadi-Islami (HUJI-B) and is funded by Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) . HUJI-B has been added to the US and UN list of terrorist organisations. MULTA also works closely with other terrorist organisations such as the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA) which are all allied to Osama Bin Laden’s International Islamic Front (IIF).

The network wants to create a Brihot Bangladesh or ‘greater Bangladesh’ by merging Muslim communities from North India into Bangladesh. Islami Chhatra Shibir (ISC), Jamaat’s student wing are also believed to have been involved with this militant network and are working in tandem with the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) to support the network. In 2002 Salim Sajid, SIMI’s financial secretary was interrogated and confessed how ISC were closely working with the SIMI to plan and attack Indian interests . The groups have been meeting in West Bengal under the banner of the ‘Islamic Action Force’.

SIMI was the student front of the Indian branch of the Jamaat-i-Islami and follows the thoughts and teachings of Mawdudi . It has a history of supporting the Taliban and al-Qaeda . Its cadre are believed to have been directly and indirectly involved in recent bomb attacks in India- they are believed to have helped terrorist cells in Varanasi, New Delhi, Mumbai and Adohya; these attacks have been major escalations for the SIMI as they have caused extremely high fatalities and casualty rates. SIMI is also working with Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) and Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) which are based in Pakistan . These are also members of the International Islamic Front.

In 2003 Indian Muslims working in Middle Eastern countries were contacted and recruited by known SIMI operatives to go and fight Coalition forces in Iraq – which is another escalation of the group’s international activities. The worrying point is that the ICS and Jamaat are working closely with SIMI and are well aware of its current strategy to attack India.

Jamaat’s support network in the UK and US

Jamaat-Pakistan and Jamaat-Bangladesh also receives backing from the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and Muslim Aid branches who act as fundraisers, missionaries and PR managers for the Jamaat-i-Islami movement in the West . The charities have been linked to terrorism and have also been linked to Mueen Uddin Chowdhury and Asrafuzzaman Khan , two expatriate Bangladeshi’s with Jamaat backgrounds who are suspected of being directly involved in war crimes. The two charities send money collected in the UK, US, Germany and Austrialia to the Al-Khidmat Foundation/Society and Muslim Aid’s Bangladeshi branch . They are both de facto arms of the Jamaat. Al-Khidmat aids militancy and helps to support the Hizbul Mujahideen, Jamaat’s armed wing and other groups . Hizbul Mujahideen is designated by the US and UK as a terrorist organisation .

In 2004 Russian security agents from the Federal Security Bureau (FSB) assassinated Zelimkhan Yanderbiyev, the former vice president of Chechnya in a car bomb attack in Doha, Qatar . They believe he was meeting with wealthy Middle Eastern figures to collect funds for Jihad. Yanderbiyev was a recipient of Jamaati funds to wage war on Russia . Jamaat-i-Islami is listed by Russia’s Supreme Court as a leading financier and supporter of terrorism. After the 9/11 attacks the Russian FSB passed information to the US stating they believed that Jamaat would be involved in the attacks on the WTC and Pentagon, these assertions proved correct when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks was arrested in the home of Jamaat leaders .

Al-Khidmat has recently helped to repatriate 2500 Taliban and Al-Qaeda terrorists that have been released as part of an amnesty by the Pakistani authorities . There have been reports that Taliban fighter are being treated at Al-Khimat’s medical centres in Pakistan. Al-Khidmat has also recently donated huge sums to Hamas to carry on with its Jihad against Israel . Al-Khidmat, ICNA and Muslim Aid’s branches should be added to UN and US sanctions for their direct financial support for terrorism.

Al-Khidmat has also recently given money to Sheikh Faisal Malawi of the Jemaah Islamiya (Lebanon) to aid his Al-Fajr militants to help Hezbollah attack Israel in Lebanon . Malawi is the former deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research alongside Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi…

Also notice that Yasin al-Qadi is mentioned in the piece.  Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey is currently under fire for his close relationship with al-Qadi, and his possible relevance to the unfolding corruption scandal in that country.

h1

SIMI hotbed gets Saudi support

May 8, 2013

Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) in northern India, the birthplace of the militant group Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), receives support from Saudi Arabia, which also funds SIMI itself:

  • In 2006, SIMI and Lashkar-e-Taiba carried out a pressure cooker bombing that killed 209 train passengers in Mumbai.  SIMI was involved with other smaller but still lethal bombings throughout the 2000s.  This February, three SIMI activists were detained for questioning in regards to explosions that killed 18 in Hyderabad.
  • SIMI was founded at AMU, a public university in Uttar Pradesh, India, in 1977.
  • AMU mostly makes the news today for “violent incidents in campus, arrest of its students and alumni for involvement in various terrorist attacks in India,” the possible presence of Al Qaeda on campus, and the financial improprieties of AMU vice chancellor P. K. Abdul Azis.
  • Last year, Vice Chancellor Azis traveled to Riyadh and announced his intentions to obtain financial support from public and private Saudi entities for the expansion of an Arabic teaching and research facility at AMU.  Azis also indicated that a high-powered delegation from a Saudi university met with AMU officials the previous year to identify areas of joint cooperation within AMU’s engineering and technology college.
  • The South Asia Terrorism Portal also reports that SIMI itself receives “generous financial assistance” from Saudi Arabia:

…SIMI reportedly secures generous financial assistance from the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), Riyadh, and also maintains close links with the International Islamic Federation of Students’ Organizations (IIFSO) in Kuwait.

It also receives generous funds from contacts in Pakistan. The Chicago-based Consultative Committee of Indian Muslims is also reported to have supported SIMI morally and financially…

  • SIMI considers the United States as an “enemy of Islam” and held demonstrations across India in 1998 against American military presence in Saudi Arabia at the time, and adopted a “pro-Taliban stance” after 9/11.
h1

More bank robbery by the mujahideen

June 14, 2011

First, some examples to set the table:

And now for the latest from India’s Hindustan Times (h/t RoP), where the Indian Mujahideen and the Student Islamic Movement of India are following the commandments of Allah, Muhammad, and their hearts by robbing from, in their eyes, valid kaffir targets:

Operation Vijay — the crackdown on the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and the outlawed Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) — has had an unexpected fallout. Five bank robberies have been solved by the Madhya Pradesh Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS). Eight arrested men have confessed to robbing two banks in Dewas and one each in Itarsi, Jaora and Piplyamandi, said ATS officers. The robberies were meant to raise funds for a regrouping of the IM — recruiting new members, renting new hideouts, holding meetings, training youths and publication of literature, said Vipin Maheshweri, inspector general, ATS.

The ATS had made the arrests on Sunday. Four of the men were arrested from the Habibganj railway station in Bhopal — Abu Faizal, Ikrar, Mehboob and Ezazuddin. Four others were held during a raid in Jabalpur —Shaikh Mujeeb, Aslam, Habeeb and Sajid.

On Monday, a local court remanded Faizal, Ikrar, Mehboob and Ezazuddin in the custody of the ATS till June 17. A team of National Investigating Agency (NIA) will be in Bhopal by Tuesday to interrogate the men in connection with several other cases.

Raids are also being conducted to get evidence of the IM’s regrouping, said ATS officials.  The ATS and intelligence agencies in Gujarat, Maharasthra, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan have been alerted.

The Uttar Pradesh ATS has been alerted about the regrouping of SIMI activists on the basis of information collected from one Zakir Hussain, who was arrested near the Rathlam railway station on Friday.

A surveillance of Hussain’s telephonic conversation with operatives of SIMI and the IM revealed that the groups had started holding meetings in Uttar Pradesh and other states. Two diaries recovered from him contained lists of their new recruits, said an intelligence official.