In the long term, SIMI sought to re-establish the caliphate, without which it felt the practice of Islam would remain incomplete. Its pamphlets warned that Muslims comfortable living in secular societies were headed to hell. Ideologies other than Islam were condemned as false and sinful.
This enabled the Prophet to give his organization a distinct identity, and permitted the nascent Muslim community to resist dissolution into the larger pagan Arab culture. Instead, they were able to pull the adversary into the ambit of Islam. For Mawdudi, the Jamaat, much like the Prophetic community, had to be the paragon for Muslim community of India. Developments in Pakistan and elsewhere gave this project an increasingly hard edge.
As Sikand has noted:. Interestingly, the Jammu and Kashmir Islami Jamaat-e-Tulba—the student wing of the Jammu and Kashmir Jamaat-e-Islami—was undergoing a similar process of transformation. Formed in , the IJT was to develop transnational linkages with neoconservative Islamist groups in much the same manner and much the same time as SIMI. At the outset, the IJT reached out to Saudi Arabia-based neoconservative patronage networks for help.
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In , the IJT was granted membership in the World Organization of Muslim Youth, a controversial Saudi-funded body which bankrolled many ideologically Islamist groups that later turned to terrorism. By the end of the decade, the IJT had formally committed itself to armed struggle against the Indian state.
At the time, Indian authorities did not appear to have been particularly concerned by these pronouncements. Many of those who would later acquire central positions in the Hizb ul-Mujahideen, the largest jihadist group operating in Kashmir. Interestingly, when SIMI first appeared on the scene, Jamaat leaders in India showed more concern for the radical movement than the government. They sought to distance themselves from SIMI , fearing its politics would allow the government to proscribe the Jamaat.
SIMI also set up a special wing, the Tehreek Tulba e-Arabiya, to build networks among madrasa students, as well as the Shaheen Force, whose recruiting efforts targeted children. In , for example, it organized an anti-immorality week, where supposedly obscene literature was burned. Predictably, it held out Islam, rather than socialism, as the solution. SIMI also worked extensively with victims of communal violence, and provided educational services for poor Muslims.
It appeared to give young Muslims a sense of purpose and identity, urging them to reject drugs and alcohol. Was SIMI , then, in essence a Muslim social service organization, occupying spaces the state had vacated? Yes—but it was also more than that. SIMI leaders continued to insist their organization itself had nothing to do with terrorism. In a statement, SIMI declared that since democracy and secularism had failed to protect Muslims, the sole option for Muslims was to struggle for the caliphate.
Ghauri, by the accounts of some of those present, was even offered the leadership of SIMI at the conference. When 25, SIMI delegates met in Mumbai in September at what was to be its last public convention, the organization for the first time called on its supporters to turn to jihad. He had planned to move operations beyond Kashmir, and place pressure on the entire Indian polity. Hyderabad offers a useful case to examine the enormously complex web of local communal conflict and the transnational crisis of Islam in India.
Millions of people were massacred in the communal violence that followed the creation of the new Muslim state. Thirty-six members of his family were killed while migrating to Pakistan. For years, Lashkar had attempted to build a network across India using local Islamists.
Operating under the alias Salim Junaid, Ishtiaq obtained an Indian passport and even married a local resident, Momina Khatoon. Ishtiaq, however, was arrested before he could do real harm. In , his long-standing friend Abdul Aziz Sheikh—a hitman linked to Karachi-based mafioso Dawood Ibrahim Kaksar—attempted to assassinate the Shiv Sena leader Milind Vaidya—one of the key organizers of the post-Babri Masjid communal riots in Mumbai. Ghauri also sought and received help from remnants of the mafia of Mohammad Fasiuddin, which had executed Andhra Pradesh Hindu fundamentalist leaders Papiah Goud and Nanda Raj Goud in retaliation for the anti-Muslim riots there.
Eight weeks after these bombings, Ghauri was shot dead by the police. Jihadi organizations continued their attempts to build new networks in Hyderabad. In August , the Hyderabad Police arrested one of the most intriguing figures in this effort, an unassuming electrician named Abdul Aziz. While working in Saudi Arabia, Aziz came into contact with an Islamist recruiter looking for volunteers to join the global jihad.
Aziz served in Bosnia in , and then fought alongside Chechen Islamists in In , Aziz again flew to Tbilisi, in search of a second tour of duty. He was, however, deported.
Aziz, investigators found, hoped to draw on the resources of the Darsgah Jihad-o-Shahadat, or Institute for Holy War and Martyrdom—an Islamist vigilante group set up in the mids, at around the same time SIMI was gathering momentum. For the most part, these efforts had only limited successes. But starting in September , at least fourteen young men from Hyderabad set out on secret journeys to terrorist training camps in Pakistan. A decade earlier, the demolition of the Babri Masjid had led several recruits from Hyderabad into the lap of Lashkar.
This time around, the hatred generated by the communal pogrom in Gujarat helped Islamist groups reap a fresh harvest. Police records show Shahid dropped out of college less than a year after his graduation from the Asafiya High School in Hyderabad. He was amongst the first generation of his inner-city family to have access to a higher education—and grew up in a new home paid for, in part, by remittances from his brothers who found work in West Asia. After the Gujarat riots, Pathan took responsibility for transporting the new wave of jihadi recruits for training.
While some recruits trained with Lashkar, others were routed on to Jaish and Harkat: a fluid dispersion of assets across organizational lines not seen before the pogrom. Within months of their departure, the new recruits executed their first successful strikes. Pandya, a Central Bureau of Investigations inquiry later determined, was killed in reprisal for his role in pogrom. Although the new recruits had trained with Lashkar and Jaish, they turned to the Bangladesh-based Harkat for operational support. Founded by Bangladeshi veterans of the anti-Soviet Union jihad in Afghanistan, Harkat operates at least six camps where several hundred Pakistani, Indian, Thai and Myanmar nationals are known to have trained.
Its founder, Mufti Abdul Hannan, spent several years studying at the Dar-ul-Uloom seminary at Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, and developed a large network of contacts among Islamists in India. He also built links with key organized crime figures. Most often, Harkat operations involved infrastructure provided by one-time SIMI cadre from India and Bangladesh nationals who executed the actual strike.
A Bangladeshi national, Mohtasin Billa, had carried out the bombing—the first Harkat operation of its kind. Of the seven major feudal estates, six were controlled by Muslim notables. During the two decades before independence, Hyderabad saw the growth of two communal movements which Hindu and Muslim elites used to strengthen their position. Speaking for the emerging Hindu industrialist class, the Arya Samaj argued that practices like idol worship had weakened the faith, and thus facilitated centuries of what they characterized as alien rule.
The Majlis was founded on the doctrine that Hyderabad Muslims were its natural hakim kaum, or ruling race. Although much of the Hyderabad Muslim elite was Shia, it was deeply influenced by the work of the nineteenth century revivalist Sayyid Ahmad of Rae Bareilly. These competing communal movements collided in April , when the city saw its first communal riots.
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He turned to the Majlis for support. Rizvi now set up the Razakars as a paramilitary sword-arm of the Nizam.
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Within five days, Hyderabad capitulated. While the Nizam became the titular head of state, Rizvi was captured and imprisoned. He was finally expelled to Pakistan in The Majlis was reborn in , under the leadership of the affluent cleric and lawyer Abdul Wahid Owaisi, who drafted a new constitution committing it to the Union of India.
Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, his son, took over the organization Starting from nothing, the Majlis rapidly established itself as the principal spokesperson for old-city Muslims. By , the Congress—which had unleashed the Indian Army on the Majlis just three decades earlier—even sought electoral alliances with it. The Majlis spoke for two distinct constituencies within the old city: a devout traditional elite disinherited by the coming of democratic rule, and an urban underclass which remained economically disenfranchised despite it.
Just how did the party succeed in re-establishing itself so fast? Ashutosh Varshney has offered this simple explanation:. In the s, there were riots in eight out of ten years in Hyderabad. After , the trend towards communal violence took a turn for the worse. Except for the period , riots took place virtually every year between and , often many times in the same year. Communal parties, not surprisingly, took center stage. With growing support from Hyderabad Muslims based in west Asia, the Majlis grew into a formidable competitor to the Hindu Right.
With the Congress and Majlis locked in political embrace, Hindu nationalist forces were able to represent themselves as the sole credible defenders of Hindu interests. Muslim interests, recruits to SIMI were told, could only be defended by integration into the wider the global jihadi movement. Majlis leaders have, in recent years, found themselves in opposition to the jihadism they once advocated. Majlis leaders have continued to use chauvinism, for example by leading protests against a visit by the Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen.
While worthwhile as a policy objective, it may not be a prescription for peace. As Varshney pointed out:. Hyderabad Muslims have done much better than their Lucknow counterparts. Their success however has led not to a reduction but an increase in communal tensions, partly through a strengthening of the Majlis.
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The relative economic betterment of Muslims is not a cause of increased tensions. An absence of symbiotic linkages is. Al Qaeda may be turning its destructive attention to cyber-warfare against the United States. The al Qaeda video calls upon the "covert mujahidin" to launch cyber attacks against the U. Susan Collins, R-Maine, the ranking member on the committee. The national security community says the threat of cyber attack is real, and the gap between terrorist aspirations and capability is closing. The senior intelligence official at Cyber Command, Rear Adm.
Samuel Cox, has said al Qaeda operatives are seeking the capability to stage cyber attacks against U. Increasing evidence also suggests that Iran is looking to commit cyber attacks against the United States, according to testimony last month before the House Committee on Homeland Security. Iran's sponsorship of terrorist groups takes on a new dimension in cyberspace, where it could develop a powerful cyber weapon and pass it on to a terrorist group.
India’s Invisible Jihad
Lieberman is using the al Qaeda video to underline what he says is the need for new legislation.. That is why the Senate needs to act on our bipartisan Cyber Security Act that requires minimum security performance requirements for key critical infrastructure cyber networks. The Homeland Security Committee says the Department of Homeland Security received more than 50, reports of cyber intrusions or attempted intrusions since October, an increase of 10, reports over the same period the previous year. All rights reserved. All these paramilitary groups, originally from the same source, had similar motivations and goals Archived from the original on 18 January Retrieved 17 January Indian Muslim Relief and Charities.
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FSI | CISAC | MAPPINGMILITANTS CISAC - MMP: Harkat-ul-Jihadi al-Islami
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