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Radical Islamism and Jihad ( 25 Nov 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Mecca Masjid blasts blew Mansoor Asghar Peerbhoy’s mind

By Sagnik Chowdhury

Posted: Nov 26, 2008 at 0323 hrs IST

Mumbai: The computer engineer was present at the Hyderabad mosque when bombs went off last year. Having already visited a Bajrang Dal camp, he fell prey to Indian Mujahideen, say cops

While Mohammed Mansoor Asghar Peerbhoy, the Pune computer engineer arrested in connection with the Ahmedabad bomb blasts, has said that he became a radical after allegedly being emotionally blackmailed and brainwashed by Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Riyaz Bhatkal, two incidents apparently played a key role in this process.

The 31-year-old who was an employee of a Yahoo! India subsidiary and is alleged to be the head of the IM’s “media wing”, has said in a statement to police that witnessing a Bajrang Dal camp in Pune in 2006 and being present in Hyderabad during the Mecca Masjid blast last year had a lasting impression on him, police sources said.

Peerbhoy, the source said, was struck by the “physical strength” of the Bajrang Dal activists who were training in martial arts at a camp in Sinhagad on the outskirts of Pune. He was taken to the camp by mechanical engineer Asif Bashir Shaikh, arrested for his role in planting the bombs in Surat, and another arrested accused, Mohammed Akbar Ismael Choudhary, on the pretext of going on a picnic. According to Peerbhoy, the trio also spoke to some of the men in the camp and that he was reluctant to join the terror group until he saw the camp.

The source said that Peerbhoy mentions the May 18, 2007 Mecca Masjid blast in Hyderabad as the second significant factor in his indoctrination. Peerbhoy was in Hyderabad to attend a course on ethical hacking and cyber crime at Internet security solutions firm E2Labs from May 14 to 19. But he fails to explain how the blast, in which 9 people were killed, influenced him.

Said to be a “brilliant student” from a “very well-to-do” family, Peerbhoy was working as a principal software engineer in the Yahoo! India unit and was paid an annual salary of Rs 19 lakh when he was arrested on September 28. He is alleged to have headed the “media cell” of IM which drafted and sent e-mails that spewed venom at the government and politicians minutes before bomb blasts. Peerbhoy has filed an application before the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Court saying he wants to turn approver in the case.

According to the police, Peerbhoy’s radicalisation began in late 2006 when Riyaz Bhatkal spotted him at a mosque in Pune. Bhatkal introduced him to Shaikh who then allegedly indoctrinated Peerbhoy through sustained brainwashing. He was made to read jihadi literature and see footage of the Palestine conflict, Iraq, Godhra and the 1993 Mumbai riots. Besides, he was also taken to meet several ideologues and hear their speeches.

Speaking to The Indian Express in Surat last week, Peerbhoy had claimed that he was “emotionally blackmailed”, “brainwashed” and “used” by Bhatkal. He also said that he met Bhatkal at a religious meeting and that he acted as a Mufti and spoke to Peerbhoy and the other accused about Islam. When they got close to Bhatkal, he wept before them, screamed that innocent Muslims were murdered in the 2002 Gujarat riots.

“He would indoctrinate us in a way that there was little left in life to hope for, that someone had snatched everything from us. I never realised he was blackmailing me emotionally. We soon stopped thinking, simply working according to his instructions,” Peerbhoy had said.


Peerbhoy’s wife says she knows nothing

2 Nov 2008, 0417 hrs IST, TNN

PUNE: "I have not met my husband ever since he expressed his desire to become an approver," wife of Mansoor Mohammed Asghar Peerbhoy, accused of sending terror mails, said on Saturday. Peerbhoy and three others were arrested recently by the Mumbai crime branch in connection with serial blasts in Ahmedabad and Delhi.

TOI visited Peerbhoy’s residence at the Central Park Co-operative Housing Society on Ambedkar road for seeking the views of his family members on why Peerbhoy decided to turn approver.

Though Peerbhoy’s parents were not available for comment, his wife said that she has not met her husband since he filed an application before the court for turning an approver. Mansoor’s father Asghar Peerbhoy was out of the house since Saturday morning, she said.

When asked if Peerbhoy had consulted his parents and lawyer before filing the application, she replied in the negative. "I have no information if Mansoor consulted a lawyer. Besides, Mansoor did not discuss anything with me," she said.

When questioned about the contents of Peerbhoy’s application, she said that she knew nothing about it. "I have not seen the application and so I am not aware of its contents," she said.

"I am totally clueless about the application. I do not know if he has filed the application willingly. I have no knowledge if he was pressurised to file the application and whether he has expressed his desire to reveal the ‘facts’," she said.

When asked if Mansoor was co-operating with the police and if he has admitted to his involvement in the alleged crime, his wife pleaded ignorance and slammed the door saying "khuda hafiz (goodbye)".

Mumbai police joint commissioner Rakesh Maria had earlier said that the techie from Pune has filed an application in the special court hinting at his willingness to turn an approver and help the police build a case against the other accused.

Peerbhoy had submitted the application in the MCOCA court on October 21, but the court is yet to take a decision in the matter.

"Peerbhoy has filed an application in the MCOCA court. He wrote the application on October 8 and submitted it on October 21. The hearing is pending in the court but this will help us considerably in exposing the Indian Mujahideen," Maria said.

According to the police, Peerbhoy had sent three Indian Mujahideen manifestos that were e-mailed to the media before the terror group’s bomb attacks in Ahmedabad and New Delhi.


Investigators say Indian Mujahideen is SIMI, V2.0

Text: Vicky Nanjappa

July 27, 2008

Investigators are pursuing the line that the Indian Mujahideen, which sent an e-mail alert about Saturday's Ahmedabad blasts and an e-mail after last year's Uttar Pradesh blasts, is the Students Islamic Movement of India in a new guise.

The reason for the new nomenclature is two fold, say Intelligence Bureau officials.

One, Pakistan's external intelligence agency, the Inter Services Intelligence, has been making consistent efforts to create new outfits to operate in the Indian heartland since Pakistan is usually accused of complicity in such attacks, which is turning up the heat on that country in international circles.

Two, SIMI, which has been on the run since the crackdown on it in Madhya Pradesh and elsewhere, realises that any terror attack under its aegis is self-defeating since its top leadership is in jail and freely accessible for interrogation.

Hence, the Indian Mujahideen.