Why the Indian origin of al-Qaeda's Sub-continent boss needs to be tracked?
New Delhi, Dec 18: Three persons suspected to be linked to the al-Qaeda were arrested by the Delhi and Odisha police over the past week. While investigators claim that they were planning on carrying out attacks in Delhi, it was also said that they were trying to establish six modules in different parts of the country.
What makes this case interesting, if the Delhi police are able to ascertain that they were indeed al-Qaeda operatives is that two of the arrested persons are from Uttar Pradesh while the other was picked up in Cuttack, Odisha.
It would be interesting to note here that the boss of the al-Qaeda in the Sub-Continent, Asim Umar also hails from Uttar Pradesh and when he had been appointed, Intelligence Bureau officials had in October 2014 warned that he will look for cadres from his home state.
Asim Umar, the India connection
Shaikh Umar as Asim is fondly called by his cadres originally hails from UP, but settled in Pakistan a long time back. Intelligence Bureau officials had been studying the antecedents of Umar since the launch of the India outfit in early 2014 and his origin has been tracked to Uttar Pradesh.
Since the year 1989, Umar is said to have been in and out of India. He was actively involved with some cadres of the SIMI while in India.
However in the year 1995 he decided to permanently shift base to Karachi and studied at the Jamia-Uloom e Islamia a school. Upon scrutiny of his videos it was found that the manner in which he spoke Urdu like an Indian Muslim.
Shaikh Umar's journey into the al-Qaeda
His path to terror was due to Kashmir. He left for Karachi and studied there for some time. His first outfit was the Harkat-eul-Mujahideen and he had vowed to take the battle further against the Indian forces. He then returned to Karachi and began teaching at the Jamia Uloom e Islamia.
His fierce thought process and his dedication to the cause is what drew the al-Qaeda towards him and over the years he became the Sharia council chief of the al-Qaeda. His job was to preach ideology and ensure that more and more youth are drawn towards the cause of the al-Qaeda.
Although he was based out of Pakistan and Afghanistan he remained in touch with the cadres of the SIMI in India. The SIMI headed by Safdar Nagori had pledged its support to the Al-Qaeda. All through Umar was the man who kept in touch with the Indian cadres of SIMI.
Nagori too speaks about his association with a top al-Qaeda leader and today the Intelligence Agencies beleive that the man was Umar. Umar unlike the rest of the al-Qaeda always took a keen interest in India. Most of this statements were related to India and the most popular one was, " why is there no storm in your ocean."
This statement was directed at India and was seen as an attemppt to provoke the Indian Muslims to rise and join the Al-Qaeda. His other statement was targetted at Bihar where he asked, " can't Bihar produce one Mujahideen.
He also made another remark at Uttar Pradesh where he sought to know if there is no mother who can sing a song to her son urging him to become a Mujahideen.
These are particuarly interesting statements since they are related to Bihar and UP which are the strongest dens of the SIMI which is now part of the Al-Qaeda and is helping set up the Indian wing. The fact that he is of Indian origin is the biggest kept secret.
Since the past 10 years, he has been sheltered in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His links with the ISI are quite intact and he has deliberately never shown his face to the media unlike the rest of the al-Qaeda operatives including Ayman Al- Zawwahiri.
This the IB says is a deliberate ploy to avoid the Indian agencies. Several persons questioned in Uttar Pradesh were unable to confirm his origin for the want of a face.