Assam Arrests Indicate an al-Qaida Network in India

Arrested Al Qaida functionaries in Assam, March 5, 2022.

Credit score: Assam Police

The arrest of 5 terrorists affiliated with al-Qaida within the northeastern Indian state of Assam has fueled hypothesis in regards to the group’s community in different components of the nation.

Inside hours of their arrest on March 5, Assam police chief Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta advised a neighborhood tv information channel that the probe into the outfit’s actions could be performed by a premier investigating company of the nation.

India’s Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA) has requested the Ministry of Residence Affairs for permission to launch the probe which is anticipated to cowl many states throughout the nation.

Amongst these arrested by the police was a Bangladeshi nationwide Saiful Islam, alias Harun Rashid, who had settled at Barpeta in Assam and was engaged with a mosque in Dhakalipara. The 4 others within the module linked to the Ansarullah Bangla Staff (ABT) had been locals from the district who had been indoctrinated by Saiful.

ABT is affiliated with al-Qaida within the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). The target of Saiful’s group was to develop Barpeta, which is positioned about 100 kilometers to the west of the state capital Guwahati, as a base for jihadi actions.

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NIA’s choice for the probe was prompted by the findings of Assam Police on the phobia module forward of the crackdown on March 5 at Barpeta. Police are of the agency opinion that the phobia squad’s actions might span into different states within the nation.

“Saiful was despatched to Assam from Bangladesh by the ABT’s second-in-command in 2019,” Mahanta mentioned, including that “he had come to the state earlier as properly on a few events.”

“We don’t assume such actions have the assist of the Muslim populace in Assam,” Mahanta, the police chief mentioned, declaring that the police had “acquired details about the actions of this group from some folks among the many neighborhood.”

To this point, the police investigation has revealed some particulars in regards to the module that had been working in Assam since final 12 months. Details about the group’s actions had reached the Particular Department of Police in September final 12 months following which a profitable effort was made to infiltrate the group.

Saiful, who hails from Narayanganj in Bangladesh, entered India via the Bangladesh border in West Bengal with the help of touts, He had acquired “skilled coaching” to evade detection and seize by police.

In line with info acquired by the Particular Department, Saiful had advised his shut associates that weapons and mercenaries could possibly be dropped at Assam from international locations at an “applicable time” for executing operations.

The group had organized maswaras or consultative classes at a number of locations in Assam with a purpose to establish leaders for establishing sleeper cells. There’s proof of funds acquired from overseas that was invested in numerous companies. The group had fashioned a entrance firm to camouflage their journey to completely different states of the nation and to Bangladesh.

A number of incidents involving al-Qaida operatives have come to mild in recent times. In 2014, Ayman al-Zawahiri had introduced the creation of AQIS, the Indian department of his militant group, to additional the reason for jihad throughout South Asia. Assam was among the many three states in India which discovered point out in his message exhorting the umma or Muslim nation to wage jihad towards its enemies.

The identical 12 months, Sahanur Alom was arrested from Barpeta for his involvement in a bomb blast in West Bengal. Alom, who was a member of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), had recruited 4 different individuals to the group who had been additionally arrested.

Final 12 months two Neo Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo JMB) functionaries had been arrested with weapons and pretend Indian forex notes from Dhubri in Assam. Dhubri borders Bangladesh. Police consider that some sleeper cells have already been created by the outfit in Assam, that are but to be busted.

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Assam shares a 262-kilometer lengthy border with Bangladesh, of which 201 kilometers have been fenced. There are porous stretches alongside the border within the state and in neighboring states that facilitate smuggling and infiltration.

Assam has been adversely impacted by unlawful immigration from Bangladesh and Nepal over the previous a number of a long time, which originated throughout colonial rule. Massive numbers of Hindus and Muslims, together with refugees occupied huge tracts of land in Assam triggering conflicts with native communities at common intervals.

A big proportion of individuals from these communities are ineligible for citizenship as per the norms laid down by the Indian authorities and agreements reached between the federal government and civil society organizations in Assam. The federal government has additionally been unable to place in place an environment friendly mechanism for detection of international nationals within the state a lot of whom have allegedly acquired pretend paperwork.

Indian safety companies are apprehensive that the phobia modules might discover assist amongst a piece of Bengal-origin Muslims in Assam, who’re both unlawful immigrants or influenced by radical concepts. They’ve recognized just a few “weak zones” and beefed up surveillance there.

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