Saturday, September 7, 2013

Yasin Bhatkal captured but Indian Mujahideen story may be far from over

8SEP,2013-The capture of Mohammad Ahmed Siddibappa Zarrar, better known as Yasin Bhatkal, and perhaps the more deadly Asadullah Akhtar from Pokhra, Nepal on August 27 appears to have broken the back of the militant group Indian Mujahideen (IM).

But with at least 11 top IM operatives still active and an elaborate set-up of modules nurtured across the country raised by Yasin, the IM story may be far from over. ET, with the help of details gleaned from a charge-sheet of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and from extracts of Bhatkal\'s interrogation, pieces together how the IM spread its wings and how our agencies, at least till now, were only playing catch up.

The story starts some time in late 2003. Three local boys of the coastal town of Bhatkal in Karnataka, brothers Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, and their close aide Yasin, decided it was time to separate from the SIMI and form a new terror outfit in the wake of the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The fourth person to join the trio in founding the IM was Bihar\'s Amir Reza Khan. The NIA now calls these four \"senior IM functionaries\" as ultra-radicalised who nurse a deep hatred towards Hindus.

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