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Saturday, 25 September 2010

India: Jihadis appear near Commonwealth Games

Foreign Policy runs an article about the last Jihadi attack, which happened last Sept 19th. Two guys in a motorcicle shot people near a mosque, injuring two Taiwanese journalists. After that, they disappeared in the alleys behind the mosque and minutes later a bomb exploded nearby but didn't actually cause a lot of damages because of errors in its fabrication.

Commonwealth Games will be held in New Delhi between from next October 3rd. Of course, this Jihadi (re)appearance is not a positive development:
The Jama Masjid attack was a far cry from the sophisticated November 2008 massacre in Mumbai, but it suggests that India's jihadi movement can no longer be ignored. It also demonstrates the durability of the Indian Mujahideen, whose bombings claimed hundreds of lives between 2005 and 2008, and raises the prospect that it is regrouping. In their email, the militants threatened to disrupt the Commonwealth Games, scheduled for next month in New Delhi. India's various failings in planning for the high-profile sporting event have garnered all the headlines, but a larger, more successful attack -- if demonstrated to have been carried out by a terrorist group linked to Pakistani jihadi groups -- could spark a regional crisis between two nuclear powers.

Much of the Indian Mujahideen's leadership is drawn from the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) -- a banned Islamist student group founded in 1977 by Jamaat-e-Islami, India's largest Islamist political party. From the outset, SIMI made clear its belief that the practice of Islam would remain incomplete until a caliphate was established. SIMI's strident Islamism soon led the Jamaat to distance itself from the organization.

SIMI appealed to an emerging class of educated, middle-class urban men who felt economically marginalized and politically disenfranchised by anti-Muslim chauvinism in India. By 2001, when the group was outlawed, SIMI boasted more than 400 ansar, or full-time workers, and 20,000 ikhwan, or volunteers. As scholar Yoginder Sikand has noted, the organization provided "its supporters a sense of power and agency which they were denied in their actual lives."

After December 1992, when Hindu extremists smashed a mosque in northern India, SIMI's polemics became increasingly bitter. In a 1996 statement, SIMI called on Muslims to follow the path of the 11th-century warlord Mahmood Ghaznavi and avenge the destruction of mosques in India. At SIMI's 1999 convention, the language was inflammatory. "Islam is our nation, not India," thundered Mohammad Amir Shakeel Ahmad -- one of several SIMI-linked operatives of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani jihadi group, who was arrested in 2005 for smuggling in military-grade explosives and assault rifles for a planned strike in the state of Gujarat.
Read it all.

Flag: Wikipedia.

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