New Delhi: Delhi-based Islamic missionary movement, the Tablighi Jamaat, has been used by al Qaeda operatives as a cover to obtain travel documents and shelter, as per the latest documents released by WikiLeaks.
As per the disclosures of Guantanamo Bay detainees, released by WikiLeaks and published by a newspaper, Monday, at least three of the hardcore inmates at the prison had stayed at the organisation’s facilities in and around Delhi.
Based on the interrogation reports of 779 inmates, the affiliation with the organisation was “identified as an al-Qaeda cover story”.
The US cables identify Jamaat Tabligh (as the name appears in its records) as a “proselytising organisation that willingly supports terrorists”.
As per a note on the organisation, al Qaeda used the Jamaat to facilitate and fund the international travels of its members. The newspaper report further quotes the US as saying that the organisation has been linked to the 2006 terrorist attacks in Mumbai in which at least 166 people were killed and hundreds injured.
One of the key financiers of al Qaeda, Somalian Muhammad Sulayman is said to have used the Jamaat to get travel documents for Pakistan. “He was denied UN refugee status in India, but he obtained a visa to travel to Pakistan under the sponsorship of Jamaat Tablighi (JT). Detainee stated he had no intention of performing missionary duties or serving with the JT; he just used the group to get a visa,” the record states.
Other important al Qaeda-linked operatives who are claimed to have used the Tablighi Jamaat services are Sudanese Lashkar-e-Toiba recruiter Amir Mohammed and Abdul Bukhary, a Saudi Arabian member of the terror group, who had stayed at the Jamaat headquarters in Delhi for a month, before travelling to Pakistan to join a terror camp.
However, members of the organisation say that the Tablighi Jamaat is not a formal organisation but only a group of missionaries “engaged in conducting religious discourses at mosques to impart lessons in Islam and Islamic faith”.
They have also rubbished the charge that the organisation offered help to al Qaeda in any way, while also adding everybody knows that Guantanamo detainees’ statements are made under duress.
The mosque at Nizammudin is open to all and that passports of foreigners are generally verified before they get accommodation with the Jamaat.
First Published: Monday, May 09, 2011, 13:07