Lucknow,June 20: Is Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh the next Azamgarh or Bhatkal? While it is unfair to attach a terror tag to a town for the misdeeds of a few, it does happen more often than not thanks to the activities in such places.
While speaking of Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh, there are a couple of things one must bear in mind. This town which is 172.7 kilometres from the National Capital, New Delhi is also the home of Asim Umar, the chief of the al-Qaeda in the Sub Continent or the ISIS.
Back in 1994 several members of the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen had been arrested from this place.
Another interesting aspect as per a report of the Intelligence Bureau is that there high remittance of Saudi money into this place very much on the lines of Kerala [Why the Indian origin of al-Qaeda's Sub-continent boss needs to be tracked?]
Sambhal the new Azamgarh:
Over an year back when the AQIS appointed a new chief, it was found that he hailed from Uttar Pradesh.
The new chief, Asif Umar alias Sheikh Umar was appointed to boost up recruitments from India. It was found that he hailed from Sambhal and had left the place for Pakistan some 15 years back.
This was a strategic appointment by the AQIS. While the Indian connection of the cheif was one aspect, the other was the town itself.
The town has had a history of producing notorious elements. While probing the 2006 Varanasi blasts, it had been found that a module from Sambhal had played a role.
In addition to this the investigations into the Red Fort blasts also led to a module in Sambhal.
The Gulf funding:
Intelligence Bureau officials say that there is a high amount of Gulf money being remitted into this place.
Some of the seminaries that have been set up in this place were funded with Gulf money. There are around 40 seminaries in an around this place.
Intelligence Bureau officials say that Gulf money remittance is never a good sign. Most of the funding is done with an intention of narrating the ideology.
More often than not it is the Wahabi ideology that is being thrust upon with such funding, officials also state. This is something that has been seen on a large scale in Kerala.
Such activities have been a major draw for terror recruiters. There have been instances to show that Yasin Bhatkal of the Indian Mujahideen prior to his arrest had scouted for recruits in this town.