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Ilyas activating terror modules in South India: IB

By Vicky Nanjappa
November 03, 2009 16:01 IST
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Ilyas Kashmiri may have risen from the dead. Contrary to the US intelligence' report in September, the chief of Al Qaeda's 313 brigade has survived a drone attack and is currently working on carrying out intensive fidayeen strikes in India, specifically South India.

The Indian Army chief and sources from Indian intelligence agencies have confirmed that India is facing a grave threat from terror outfits. Intelligence agencies believe that Kashmiri has shifted his focus from the US troops to India.

In an alleged interview given to the chief of Asia Times' Pakistan bureau, Ilyas has claimed that he is "hale and hearty" and is reportedly focused on an operation in India called 'Ghazwa-e-Hind', meaning 'Anger against India', and the attacks are aimed at making a point to India that any tie-up with the US will not be tolerated.

Indian intelligence and law enforcing agencies will have to take this threat seriously as Kashmiri had stated in the interview that the attack would be on such a large scale that India would be stunned that the attacks in Mumbai would fade in gravity compared to the one he was planning, the report said.

Sources from the Intelligence Bureau told that with the US heat on Kashmiri extremely high, he has now moved to Pakistan occupied Kashmir from Wazirstan and is in touch with cadres of both the Lashkar-e-Tayiba and the Harkat-ul-Jihadi.

Kashmiri is expected to push at least 40 terrorists into India to carry out the attack in a major city of India. The idea is to strike at a place where the US interests would be hurt most, said IB sources.

A phone call intercept picked up by the IB suggests that the attack may most likely be in South India.

According to intelligence sources, the Al Qaeda has decided to use some of its finest fighters for the mission and Kashmiri has been training these men personally, under the aegis of the 313 brigade.

Kashmiri, according to the IB, has issued a statement to his cadres asking them to activate and coordinate the cells in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh immediately, apart from those in West Bengal, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh to aid the operation.

The IB believes that Kashmiri would be using cadres from the local modules to provide logistic support like data on key installations, and the route for sending arms and men for the attack.

Kashmiri is planning to use cells of the LeT and HuI, which are considered strongest in Andhra Pradesh, since he believes that these units are most trustworthy.

This time, Kashmiri may use militants from Pakistan and Afghanistan only for the attack, and local modules may restrict to logistics and in helping the Fidayeens take a safe route to their destination.

Most of the local modules are in sleeping mode presently and it is just a matter of days before cadres move towards PoK, the IB said.

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Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru