Dec 15, 2008

India - Hyderabad the “hub” of home-grown militants

Hasan Suroor

LONDON: Hyderabad is emerging as the hub of a new generation of home-grown Indian extremists who are recruited by an underground jihadi network by exploiting “sectarian tensions” in the city, a British newspaper has reported quoting Indian police sources.

The Sunday Telegraph said that “dozens” of young Muslims had “disappeared” from the city and were suspected to have gone to Pakistan to be trained by terrorist groups.

Hyderabad’s Police Commissioner Prasada Rao was quoted as saying that the police had not been able to trace them.

“We have tried to establish where they have gone, but we just don’t know. We know they have gone to other places, either Indian states or abroad. We are checking but the parents will not let us in on what’s going on,” he said.

“Feeder groups”

The report claimed that the police accused two local movements — Darsgah Jihad-o-Shahadath (DJS) and Tehreek Tahfooz Shaer-e-Islam (TTSI) — of acting as “feeder” groups for militants seeking to recruit jihadis.

Both groups strongly denied the allegations, but a message on the DJS website reportedly admits that it has been “training…thousands of Muslim youth to defend themselves.” Its “long-term goal,” the message adds, is to “achieve the supremacy and prevalence of Islam in practice in its entirety.”

“Minor role”

The Police Commissioner told the newspaper that the grievances of the Muslim community played only a “minor role” in the indoctrination of young Muslims.

‘Motivated by extreme views’

“This generation has broader grievances. They are motivated by extreme views on the American presence in Iraq, Middle East frictions and Muslim torment worldwide,” Mr. Rao said.

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