By Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru
That the Lashkar-e-Tayiba, Harkat-ul-Jihadi and Students Islamic Movement of India have been creating havoc with India's internal security, is well known.
Two arrested SIMI cadres have now made a startling revelation about a conversion-based recruitment agency, which the outfit has been running for the past couple of years.
Assadullah Abubakr and Mohammed Asif, who were arrested in Karnataka recently, told investigating agencies that they were in charge of this recruitment agency.
Assadullah and Asif were in charge of identifying youths from other religions and coaxing them to join the movement. According to the duo, they identified youths who were felt wronged or were in financial trouble, and convinced them into believing that their path would get them justice.
According to Nagori, this force's task was to brainwash youths into joining the banned SIMI.
Another wing of SIMI, which has come to light recently, is an all-women group called the Shaheen Force.
According to the IB, SIMI has recruited nearly 25,000 members across the country, of which 6,000 were recruited through the new agency which has come in handy since the crackdown by security agencies and their constant monitoring had made things difficult for the SIMI cadres.
In Belgaum, the arrest of a key operative revealed to the intelligence agencies the outfit's plan to undertake inter-state operations.
The police say the best way to tackle SIMI is by cracking down on its financial network. Superintendent of Police, Belgaum district, Hemant Nimbalkar, says they are investigating into the source of funds behind the outfit. IB sources say a major chunk of SIMI's funding, which runs into nearly Rs 50 lakh a month, comes in from overseas.
Apart from this SIMI also collects funds from locals. The IB says most funds are raised in Bihar, Jharkhand, Kerala [Images] and Uttar Pradesh.
The SIMI's fund-raising was also quite active in Karnataka, but that seems to have dried up of late after the spate of arrests in the state.
June 09, 2008