GUWAHATI, Oct 12 � The ethnic clashes in the Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD) area in 2012 brought Assam within the radar of the international jehadi groups, while the Indian security agencies started getting inputs about the possibility of the Al Qaeda expanding bases to the Indian sub-continent from early this year.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that the clashes in 2012, in which more than a hundred people were killed and lakhs rendered homeless, may turn out to be a turning point in the history of Assam as the State came into the focus of the international jehadi groups from that time. Sources said that since then, the leaders of the jehadi groups including the chief of Pakistan-based Jaish-E-Mohammad (JEM) started mentioning the riots in their discourses. The Indian security agencies managed to get hold of a number of such tapes in which the leaders of the jehadi groups mentioned the 2012 riots. The leaders of the jehadi groups are also mentioning the plight of the Rohingiya Muslims of Myanmar, who are under attack in Myanmar.
Sources said the Indian security agencies started getting inputs about the possibility of the Al Qaeda expanding towards the Indian sub-continent, from early this year. The threat from the Al Qaeda increased after the emergence of the ISIS as a strong force in the Middle East countries. The bases of Al Qaeda started shrinking after the emergence of ISIS and the outfit started looking towards the Indian sub-continent to expand its bases.
Sources revealed that according to information available with the security agencies, the Indian sub-continent chapter of the Al Qaeda is led by Asim Umor, while Mullah Umor, the head of the Afghan Taliban, is now believed to be in Pakistan. The head of the Afghan Taliban can very well play a major role in expanding the base of the Al Qaeda in the Indian sub-continent as he is �highly regarded� by a number of jehadi outfits.
Sources pointed out that the Al Qaeda very often extends help to local outfits instead of sending its own men as was the case in Afghanistan as before the crackdown by America, the Afghan Taliban used to work for Al Qaeda and very few members of the outfit were operating in the field. In case of India also, the possibility of Al Qaeda using local jehadi groups cannot be ruled out. Moreover, as the ethnic riots in Assam are frequently mentioned in the discourses of the jehadi leaders, it is obvious that the State is under threat, sources added.
On the history of Islamic militancy in Assam, sources said that a few outfits cropped up after the Nellie massacre in 1983, but those could not sustain. Later, organisations like the Muslim United Liberation Front of Assam, Muslim Security Force etc., emerged, but those could not gain ground as radicalisation of the society did not take place. In the 1990s, the Harkat Ul Mujadeedin (HUM) managed a strong network in Assam and even took boys from the State to Pakistan for training. But in the crackdown in 1999, at least 40 members of the HUM were arrested, while a few surrendered. That operation broke the backbone of the HUM in Assam. But a new threat is emerging as youths of the State were trained by the Jamaat ul Mujadeedin, Bangladesh (JMB) in West Bengal.