Indian Mujahideen strikes for first time after June ban

It is the Indian Mujahideen again in the news with the blast in Varanasi, the first time after it was banned and designated as a terror outfit by the Union Government in June this year.

Last Updated: Dec 07, 2010, 22:25 PM IST

New Delhi: It is the Indian Mujahideen again
in the news with the blast in Varanasi, the first time after
it was banned and designated as a terror outfit by the Union
Government in June this year.

The Indian Mujahideen`s hand is suspected in over 10
serial blasts in Delhi and other parts of the country that
claimed nearly 500 lives.

The IM is a shadow outfit of the banned SIMI and
Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Toiba and is directly controlled
by Pakistan`s ISI, official sources say.

"An order has been issued adding Indian Mujahideen and
all its formations and front organisations to the list of
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967," a Home Ministry
statement had said here while banning the group.

With its addition to the terror list, the number of such
outfits has gone upto 35 which includes al-Qaeda, LTTE,
Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hizbul Mujahideen, CPI-Maoist and ULFA.

The Indian Mujahideen is alleged to be involved in serial
bomb blasts in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore and Mumbai and
came under spotlight on February 23, 2005 when it carried out
a blast in Varanasi leaving eight people injured.

The Indian Mujahideen has carried out over 10 blasts in
various parts of the country killing nearly 500 people, a
senior Home Ministry official said, adding the deadliest
attack of the IM was in the pre-Diwali blasts in the national
capital in 2005 in which 66 people were killed.

Amir Reza Khan was the founding member of the Indian
Mujahideen, which was created by ISI ostensibly to spread
terror through Indian front outfits. The group is at present
headed by Iqbal Bhatkal, a resident of North Karnataka, the
sources say.

The outfit`s hand is seen in this year`s Pune blast that
claimed 17 lives. Maharashtra`s Anti-Terrorist Squad claims
that it had evidence to link Riaz Bhatkal, Iqbal`s brother,
with the blast. The Bhatkal brothers are believed to be in the
Gulf and Pakistan.

-PTI