Terrorism Update
Show/Hide Search
    Click to Enlarge

Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 2, No. 14, October 20, 2003

Data and assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal



J&K: The Writing on the Barrel of the Gun
Guest Writer: Praveen Swami
Special Correspondent, Frontline

In Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), bullets don't just bear death: they are also a medium of political communication.

In November 2002, just after Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took office, two grenades went off outside his home on the outskirts of Srinagar. The grenades were not intended to kill, but to forcefully remind the new Chief Minister of the need to honour his party's promises of dialogue with Islamist groups and a scaling back of offensive counter-terrorism operations.

Sayeed refused, at the time, to leave his home for more secure quarters. In a grand gesture, he even brought down security barriers on Gupkar Road, home to the residence of his predecessor Farooq Abdullah as well as top functionaries of the Border Security Force, Intelligence Bureau and the Research and Analysis Wing. The opening of Gupkar Road, along with Sayeed's media-hyped visits to downtown Srinagar, was a visible symbol of the new 'healing touch' agenda.

Over the next months, however, the real-world limitations of the 'healing touch' became evident. Although there were some prisoner releases, their scale was nowhere near adequate to satisfy the Islamist Right, which had backed his People's Democratic Party (PDP). Unabated violence and pressure from the PDP's coalition partners also ensured that no generalised cutback in counter-terrorist operations could be realised.

Sayeed began spending increasing amounts of time outside Srinagar and, when he was present there, often chose to spend the night at the Dachigam wildlife sanctuary. This wasn't, of course, the consequence of a new interest in nature, but of blunt warnings from intelligence and police officials of the likelihood of an assassination attempt. The J&K Government also began constructing a new fortified residence for the Chief Minister on Mohammad Ali Road, which he occupied last month after vacating his family residence.

It is important, then, to consider the political meaning of the murderous October 17, 2003, Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) attack on the new official residence especially prepared to shield Sayeed from such dangers. As J&K Government spokesperson Kul Bhushan Jandial has pointed out, the Chief Minister was not at home when the attack took place. In this sense, he was obviously not its target. Yet, it is profoundly unlikely that the terrorists who executed the attack would not have taken care to monitor the Chief Minister's movements - something they could have done simply by walking up and down the pavement on the busy public road that runs along his house.

It is at least possible that the attack was not intended to kill but, just as in November 2002, to send a signal. Top PDP functionaries have held meetings with senior figures of the Hizb-ul-Mujahideen (HM) in recent months. One such meeting, held in late August near Pahalgam, involved the HM's central Kashmir 'commander', Abdul Rashid Pir. The meetings followed complaints by the HM, which not-so-tacitly backed the PDP's election campaign last year, that the ruling party had failed to deliver on its end of their deal. While the unpopular Special Operations Group (SOG) had been disbanded by the PDP, operations by the Army, paramilitaries and police continued apace. 205 terrorists were killed last month, a record level of success.

Soon after the Pahalgam meeting, Pir left for Pakistan, and the HM ended an undeclared truce that had commenced after the elections. On September 6, 2003, the Hizb targeted an Army convoy passing by the Parimpora Fruit Market on Srinagar's outskirts, following this attack up with a succession of similar offensive operations. Although the PDP had been calling for the inclusion of the Hizb in a political dialogue on the future of J&K, the terrorist organisation was making clear that it wanted more than mere polemical support.

Sayeed has, in the past, responded to Islamist concerns by using the limited leverage available to him. Earlier this month, for example, he called on the Union Government to replace its official interlocutor on J&K, N.N. Vohra, with someone more acceptable to the secessionists. His daughter, the PDP's star campaigner Mehbooba Mufti, has not once congratulated the security forces for successes against terrorism, and remained silent even after the elimination of the terrorist who organised the assault on Parliament House, Shahbaz Khan alias Ghazi Baba. PDP legislators and functionaries, any security official in J&K will testify, routinely call up demanding the quick release of arrested suspects.

None of this, terrorist groups are starting to realise, actually adds up to much. Caught in a coalition whose constituents cannot or will not be seen as being soft on terror, Sayeed's room for manoeuvre is extremely limited. The near-tragic attack on the Chief Minister's residence, it seems probable, was intended to provide additional incentive for Sayeed to deliver on his party's promises, whatever the consequences. Like other Chief Ministers in similar situations of crisis, Sayeed has two choices: he buckles in, or fights back. The decision he makes will shape the course of events in J&K in coming years.

Just as important, the assassination attempt should provoke introspection among policy makers in both New Delhi and Washington. The United States has been content to cajole Pakistan's military establishment to keep violence in J&K at levels that will not provoke a full-blown crisis. Although violence is, indeed, at levels marginally lower than in 2001, the assassination attempt shows that terrorism simply cannot be calibrated to avoid potentially crisis-inducing events. The Government of India, in turn, needs to work out just how it might respond to major acts of terrorism - or might find itself floundering as it did in December 2001, after the attack on Parliament House in New Delhi.




Nailing a Lie
Kanchan Lakshman
Research Associate, Institute for Conflict Management; Assistant Editor, Faultlines: Writings on Conflict & Resolution

The U.S. Treasury Department announcement on October 16, 2003, designating Dawood Ibrahim as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224, has meant that he now joins Osama bin Laden and 320 others who hold a similar distinction. Dawood Ibrahim alias Sheikh Dawood Hassan, an Indian Mafia don currently located in Pakistan, is an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case in which at least 257 persons lost their lives. The designation freezes any assets belonging to Dawood within the U.S. and prohibits transactions with U.S. nationals. The U.S. is also shortly expected to request that the United Nations (UN) put him on its list of terrorists as well. A UN listing will require that all its member-states take similar action, and it is this aspect that is bound to generate attention in the immediate future, since his fugitive status in Pakistan has been widely reported, including by some sections of the Pakistani media. The designation also brings to light the enormous challenge of confronting the intricate and global web of organized crime and Islamist terror.

On October 14, two days before Dawood's designation as a Global Terrorist, the U.S. Treasury Department also put the Pakistan-based Al Akhtar Trust International on the same list. The Al Akhtar Trust is accused of being involved in financing and supporting a network of international Islamist terrorist groups, including the Al Qaeda, raising money for Islamist extremists attempting to infiltrate into Iraq, and maintaining links with an individual alleged to have been involved in the abduction and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The trust, established in year 2000, has offices in Pakistan, Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Afghanistan. The State Bank of Pakistan had frozen the bank accounts of the trust in May 2003. The US administration reportedly believes that the trust is closely linked to the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM).

A fact sheet issued with the October 16 notification said that Dawood's syndicate is involved in large-scale shipments of narcotics in the U.K. and Western Europe. Further, his syndicate's smuggling routes from South Asia, the Middle East and Africa are shared with bin Laden and the Al Qaeda. The fact sheet notes: "Successful routes established over recent years by Ibrahim's syndicate have been subsequently utilized by bin Laden. A financial arrangement was reportedly brokered to facilitate the latter's usage of these routes. In the late 1990's, Ibrahim traveled in Afghanistan under the protection of the Taliban." Citing his Pakistani passport number (G869537), the U.S. notification further states, "information, from as recent as Fall 2002, indicates that Ibrahim has financially supported Islamic militant groups working against India, such as Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT). For example, this information indicates that Ibrahim has been helping finance increasing attacks in Gujarat by LeT."

While the U.S. fact sheet further validates the now internationally held opinion that the 'footprint' of every major act of international Islamist terrorism invariably passes through Pakistan, it also illustrates Pakistan's deception regarding Dawood and indeed, several other fugitives who find safe haven on its soil. Pakistan has been consistent in its denial of links with Dawood, and President Pervez Musharraf had himself stated in no uncertain terms to Indian Home Minister L.K. Advani during his visit to India during July 2001 that "Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan". The citing of his Pakistani passport by the United States indicates official Pakistani complicity, something that India has consistently maintained since the 1993 Mumbai blasts. The fact that Dawood Ibrahim has been holed up in Pakistan has also been corroborated by the Pakistani media. The Pakistani magazine, The Herald, after a bomb explosion on September 19, 2003, at the tenth floor of a high-rise commercial complex in Karachi, noted that the business centre - Kawish Crown Plaza - was, according to the Inspector General of the Sindh Police (IGP) "ostensibly owned by Ahmed Jamal but actually belonged to Dawood Ibrahim." "The IGP's statement was backed the same day by the de facto Sindh Home Minister, Aftab Sheikh, who told reporters that the Mumbai mafioso had a 'network from Mumbai to Karachi and was working in both countries'," the report added. Much earlier in September 2001, the Karachi-based Newsline, in its report "Karachi's Gang Wars", had recorded, "Karachi's two rival underworld gangs, both working for the notorious Mumbai don, Dawood Ibrahim, are now settling their scores on the streets of Karachi. Dawood Ibrahim and his team, Mumbai's notorious underworld clan including his right hand man Chota Shakeel and Jamal Memon, are on India's most wanted list for a series of bomb blasts in Mumbai and other criminal activities. After the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, the gang have made Karachi their new home and base of operations. Living under fake names and IDs, and provided protection by Government agencies, they have built up their underworld empire in Karachi employing local talent like Shoaib and Bholoo."

Evidently, Pakistan's emergence as a 'frontline state' in the war against terrorism is yet to produce the anticipated changes in terms of internal reform, the containment of terrorist groups, and the fulfillment of various promises made by President Musharraf in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in USA.

The expected UN listing on Dawood would mean that Pakistan and Gulf countries such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would also be required to initiate action against his network. The UAE has been the hub of the Dawood syndicate's criminal enterprises, with settled operations in places like Dubai for well over a decade. "We are calling on the international community to stop the flow of dirty money that kills. For the Ibrahim syndicate, the business of terrorism forms part of their larger criminal enterprise, which must be dismantled," said Juan Zarate, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, in a statement accompanying the notification. Past experience, however, has shown that such appeals have not produced any significant action. Even the UN Security Council Resolution 1373, which proclaims that "…all States should prevent and suppress the financing of terrorism, as well as criminalize the wilful provision or collection of funds for such acts," has largely gone unheeded. Pakistan's lie may have been nailed, but - given its past record of inaction against other groups listed as terrorist entities - it remains improbable that this will provoke effective action against the Dawood gang, which has long been regarded as a critical asset by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) in its covert war of attrition against India.




A Government Divided
Guest Writer: Ameen Izzadeen
Deputy Editor, Sunday Times and Daily Mirror, Colombo

A cart pulled by two bulls, each trying to go in a different direction - this metaphor exactly fits the Sri Lankan Government today. President Chandrika Kumaratunga heads an executive that comprises a Cabinet dominated by her rival party, the United National Front (UNF), which heads a majority alliance in Parliament. The result is that that governance has sadly become a matter of conflict rather than consensus. Whether it is the peace process or state policy, the President and her party, the People's Alliance (PA), hold a position that is not congruent with the stand taken by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe's UNF Government.

This was illustrated, for instance, by the diametrically opposed positions the President and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe's administration took with regard to global trade. Commerce Minister Ravi Karunanayake, who represented the Government at the recent trade talks in Cancun, Mexico, broke ranks with the developing countries and backed the rich nations, especially the United States. In sharp contrast to this position, President Kumaratunga on October 14, 2003, addressing the World Economic Forum's East Asia summit in Singapore, blasted the rich nations, declaring, "The principles and underlying positions on trade must definitely be the same for the developed and the developing nations." This is not their only point of disagreement; the President and her party have condemned the Prime Minister's United Nations (UN) speech, which gave a tacit nod to the US invasion of Iraq.

The result of this two-way governance is that confusion reigns. The politics of conflict is not strange to Sri Lanka, but the politics of consensus certainly is. Neither politicians nor the body politic have sufficiently matured to nurture the politics of cohabitation, which is seen as the sine qua non for the progress of the peace process. An oft-repeated complaint voiced by the President is that she has been kept in the dark with regard to the peace process. The mutual suspicion the two parties entertain towards each other is giving birth to crisis after crisis in what has been described as a cohabitation miscarriage.

The opposition Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), the main constituent party of the People's Alliance, has already started a process to topple the Government with the help of the Marxist Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) or the People's Liberation Front. A section of the SLFP believes that an electoral alliance with the JVP is the only way the UNF could be defeated at a general election. The SLFP has never won a general election under its own steam. In the past it had always relied on the support of leftist parties to prop up its electoral strength. With the traditional left parties such as the Lanka Sama Samaja Party and the Communist Party being pushed into political oblivion, it is only on the JVP - a party that derives its strength from unemployed youths and is credited with significant organizational capabilities - that the SLFP can rely to ride back to power. However, the hitch is that the JVP is an ardent opponent of the peace process. It advocates a military solution to the North-East conflict and believes devolution of power is not the formula to solve the national question.

The first round of talks between the SLFP and the JVP collapsed recently largely due to disagreement over devolution as a solution to the ethnic problem, though moves are now underway to resume talks. However, it is still not clear how the two parties will iron out their differences over the devolution issue. In spite of this fundamental disagreement, they have intensified their campaigns, together and separately, against the Government's approach to the peace process. Both parties are in agreement that the UNF Government's approach to peace will eventually lead to the creation of Eelam, the separate state the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has been campaigning for.

The 20-month-old ceasefire, however fragile it might be, has contributed towards the growth of the economy. The stock market has made significant gains in recent months while the rupee has appreciated against the dollar. But ironically, the gains made on the economic front have not significantly buttressed the peace process. This is because questions arising from the uncertainties surrounding the peace process still remain unanswered. Fears that were expressed at the time the UNF Government signed the ceasefire agreement in February 2002 have still not been allayed.

On the contrary, the apprehensions have been consolidated by the LTTE's ceasefire violations, its intransigent stand with regard to contentious issues, especially the row over the Manirasakulam camp, its continued efforts to regroup and rearm itself and its scant regard for the opinion of the international community and rulings by the ceasefire monitors. With regard to the Manirasakulam camp in Trincomalee, the LTTE has stood its ground, refusing to bow to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission ruling that the rebels had set up the camp in a Government-controlled area, which was not long ago occupied by Muslims.

The LTTE's disdain for the international community as far as the ground reality is concerned was also seen in its continued conscription of children despite the assurances it gave to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Recently, the LTTE released about 40 child soldiers for a UNICEF-sponsored rehabilitation programme, but before the ink on the papers they signed was dry, some 40 parents in Valachchenai, an eastern town close to Batticaloa, complained to the UNICEF that their children had been abducted by the LTTE.

Besides, the LTTE is also known to have acquired modern weaponry during the 20-month-old truce, a fact Defence Minister Tilak Marapana grudgingly admitted in Parliament during an adjournment debate on the security situation in the country.

"It is true that, with the ceasefire agreement, many opportunities have been afforded to the LTTE to strengthen itself. But that I believe is the price we have to pay if we are to pursue the peace process to a permanent solution of the problem. We knew that when we signed the ceasefire agreement," Marapana told Parliament in response to an opposition tirade against the Government's soft approach to the LTTE's confidence-shattering measures.

The UNF Government's never-say-die approach to the peace process, in spite of LTTE intransigence, is commendable, for it has helped keep alive the hopes of reactivating the negotiations that were suspended in April. It is against the backdrop of this optimism that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe this week told the Foreign Ministers of the Indian Ocean Rim countries that the very fact that the LTTE was presenting its counter-proposals to a Government draft on the creation of an interim administration for the Northern and Eastern Provinces was itself an achievement in the ongoing peace process.

The LTTE's constitutional affairs committee, which met recently in Dublin, has apparently finalized its counter-proposals to be handed over to the Government by the end of this month. Although the contents of the counter-proposals have not been made public, sources close to the LTTE say that the Tigers were insisting that police, land and financial matters should be exclusively vested in the LTTE-dominated interim administration.

The Government may not fully agree with the LTTE counter-proposals, but this will offer the two sides an opportunity to sit together and iron out or minimize their disagreements. One cannot be over-optimistic, however, given the other factors that are directly linked to the ethnic question. For instance, fears entertained by Muslims about the interim administration have not been allayed, either by the Government or LTTE. The LTTE's continued harassment of Muslims is giving rise to a situation that may lead to Muslims taking up arms to defend themselves and even President Kumaratunga has warned of this eventuality.




Tripura: Creating an Unenviable Record
Bibhu Prasad Routray
Acting Director, Institute for Conflict Management Database & Documentation Centre, Guwahati

Terrorism continues to bleed Tripura. First, it was the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), which categorized Tripura as the most violent State in the country, and subsequently, the State Government has provided figures to underline the gradual undermining of the State's ability to deal with essentially four insurgent groups, the combined strength of which is not estimated to be over 4500.

Speaking in the State Legislative Assembly, on October 12, 2003, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, who also holds the Home portfolio, mentioned that, during the first six months of his Government (between March 10 and August 30), a total of 112 fatalities were recorded, including 85 civilians and 15 security force (SF) personnel, who fell prey to terrorist attacks. A total of 66 people were also injured in these incidents, and 55 civilians were abducted. It is clear that the surrender of 196 insurgents, a figure from which the State Government appears to derive tremendous satisfaction, has failed to blunt their firepower.

Official figures also disclose that the impact of insurgency/terrorism has been phenomenal in terms of the internal displacement of civilian populations. Nearly 19,468 families have been displaced between March 1, 1998, and February 28, 2003, in the State. Subdivisions like Bishalgarh in West Tripura district suffer the most, with a recorded displacement of 12,106 families. The Khowai, Sadar, Udaipur and Belonia subdivisions also recorded high volumes of such displacement. Tripura remains a theatre of conflict where the fatalities among SF personnel have remained at a significantly high level. Between 1998-2002, 158 SF personnel have been killed in the State. In 2003 alone, till October 19, 34 SF personnel had been killed in terrorist violence.

Over the past years, the State Government has been categorical on two points:

  1. Terrorism in the State will not stop till the time support continues to be provided to the insurgent groups by Bangladesh.
  2. The Government of India must provide a greater number of central SF personnel to deal with the situation. (There are already 134 companies of central forces operating in the State)

All the four insurgent outfits operating in Tripura - two factions of the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT- headed by Nayanbashi Jamatiya and Biswamohan Debbarma), All Tripura Tiger Force (ATTF) and Borok National Council of Tripura (BNCT) - have their camps in Bangladesh in districts including the Chittagong Hill Tracts, Sylhet, Comilla, Moulavi Bazar and Habiganj. According to the Tripura Government's estimates, 47 such camps exist in Bangladesh. Top militant leaders such as Joshua Debbarma and Biswamohan Debbarma live openly, albeit under pseudonyms, in Dhaka and operate thriving hotel and transport businesses. Their stay has also given rise to a nexus with Bangladeshi criminal elements that have gradually been encouraged to jointly engage in subversive activities across the border. As recently as on October 12, 2003, two villagers were abducted from the Bagmara village of Kamalpur sub-division in Dhalai district near the border by Bangladeshi criminal elements understood to be linked with the NLFT-N faction.

NLFT-N chief Nayanbashi Jamatiya has been accused of operating under the direct diktats of the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) of Pakistan. A Christian, he was married for the third time to the daughter of Abu Mian, a notorious criminal of the Sylhet area, and has since converted to Islam. Unconfirmed reports suggest that, through Abu Mian, the Jamat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JeI-BD) is also influencing the NLFT- Biswamohan Debbarma faction. The NLFT, which originated and grew with the active support of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim - Isak-Muivah (NSCN-IM) is now devoid of overt support from that group due to the latter's peace parleys with the Government of India. As a result, the NLFT leadership, principally Christians, despite their religious reservations, maintains links and work under the instructions of the ISI, possibly in tandem with Islamist terrorist groups - some of them linked to the Al Qaeda - known to have a free run in Bangladesh. The porous border with India, particularly at points in the Sonamura subdivision in Tripura's West District, is the traditional route used by militants into Tripura.

There is, however, much more to the complexities of insurgency in Tripura than the bases and camps in Bangladesh and the overt or covert support by foreign powers to these agents of terror. A deep political nexus with terror has created critical power centers within Tripura, which are too strong to be broken by seemingly hardening political postures against terrorist violence. In addition to the hit and run attacks from Bangladesh, militants continue to operate deep inside Tripura's territory and far away from the international borders. Just 35 kilometres from the State capital Agartala, private and Government vehicles on National Highway 44 move in convoys under the protection of armed Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel. The result is that a distance of little over 650 kilometers to Guwahati in Assam is covered in not less than 25 hours. Terrorist bases also exist on Tripura's territory, in the Takarjala and Jampuijala area of the West district. Groups such as the BNCT, which were, till recently regarded as little more than fringe groupings, have made the Dhalai District's southern hilly area bordering the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) in Bangladesh their stronghold. Intelligence reports also suggest alignments and alliances between terrorist groups in order to strengthen their operations. Towards the second half of August 2003, for instance, leaders of the NLFT-B and NLFT-N met in the Burmatilla area in West Tripura to discuss operational cooperation.

Faced with mounting opposition, there are signs of confusion in the State Security Force set up to counter insurgency. In the month of September, reports disclosed that a soldier from the Tripura State Rifles (TSR), Rahid Mian, gave final shape to plans for an NLFT attack on a TSR camp on September 23, 2003, in Shermun Tilla area of Dharmanagar subdivision, in which three SF personnel were killed and the terrorists escaped with arms. Reports indicate that Rahid Mian, in spite of his junior position, enjoyed the confidence of higher echelons in the State Police and was given a free hand to effect surrenders of non-descript insurgents, even though his own past record was dubious.

The Administration appears to be heading nowhere on the counter-insurgency front as well. This year, till August 2003, 10 Special Police Officers (SPOs), considered vital in providing details of insurgent activities, had deserted with their weapons. A number of active SPOs have been involved in crimes such as rape. Similarly, police claims of eliminating terrorists have often been found grossly exaggerated. In the month of August alone, five cases of killings of alleged terrorists were reported to have been false, with the victims identified as innocent civilians - a fact conceded by the members of the ruling Left Front.

Nevertheless, small yet significant incidents have begun to indicate the growing unrest among the tribal population against the very forces that claim to be fighting for their rights. On October 12, 2003, tribal villagers of Shantinagar, under troubled Kalyanpur Police Station of West district, lynched a BNCT cadre. However, people also remain disinclined to cooperate with the Administration. In 1997, the State Government announced rewards ranging from Rupees 50,000 to Rupees 500,000 on the heads of 34 NLFT and ATTF terrorists. Only one of these 34 was killed in an encounter based on information provided by the people. This time around too, in the aftermath of the August 14, 2003, massacres at Kamalnagar and Baralunga in Khowai subdivision, the State Government has announced a reward of Rupees 100,000 each for information on nine ATTF militants. The response is not expected to be any different, as public apathy persists.

Surprisingly, in this context, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, in spite of his repeated tirade against the Bangladesh Government, did a sudden volte face during his Dhaka tour in September 2003, absolving Dhaka of blame for supporting insurgency. This led to strong protests in Tripura. Indeed, such ambivalence has been the hallmark of Tripura's fight against terrorism, and unless a clarity of purpose is firmly established in the political leadership, the State will continue to suffer the torment of terrorism.




Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts in South Asia
October 13-19, 2003

Security Force Personnel






     Jammu &










Total (INDIA)





*   Provisional data compiled from English language media sources.


Fidayeen attack on Chief Minister's residence in Srinagar foiled: Security forces foiled the first Fidayeen (suicide squad) attack on the official residence of Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed in the capital Srinagar on October 17, 2003. Even as two Border Security Force (BSF) personnel were killed and 10 persons, including three photojournalists, sustained injuries, both the terrorists took shelter in the nearby Dr Ali Jan Shopping Plaza. Security forces launched an operation the next day and killed both the terrorists inside the 4-storey shopping complex after evacuating all the civilians from the area. The Chief Minister's residence is approximately 50 metres away from the Ali Jan Plaza. While the Chief Minister was in Uttar Pradesh on a scheduled visit to Aligarh, his daughter and the ruling People's Democratic Party (PDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti was present at the residence along with other members of the family. Meanwhile, the Al-Mansoorain spokesperson, Abu Shakir, told a local news agency in Srinagar that two terrorists of his organisation had launched the attack. The Hindu, October 19, 2003; Daily Excelsior, October 18, 2003.


Three terrorists awarded 10-year jail term for plot to kill President Musharraf: An anti-terrorism court in Karachi on October 18, 2003, awarded 10-year jail terms to three terrorists affiliated to the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen Al-alami (HuMA) for an attempt on the life of President Pervez Musharraf, while acquitting two co-accused in the case. The three, Imran, the HuMA chief, Muhammad Hanif, deputy chief and Muhammad Ashraf, the HuMA treasurer, were found guilty of attempting to blow up President Musharraf in Karachi on April 26, 2002. The three accused were initially arrested in a case pertaining to the bomb blast outside the US Consulate in Karachi and during interrogation, they allegedly confessed to planning to blow up the President. The plan, however, failed as the remote control that was to blast the explosive developed some fault. Jang, October 19, 2003.

United States designates Dawood Ibrahim as a global terrorist: The United States on October 16, 2003, designated Pakistan-based Indian Mafia don Dawood Ibrahim as a global terrorist having links with the Al Qaeda and financing activities of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and other terrorist groups. Ibrahim, an accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts in Mumbai, is part of India's most-wanted list of 20 fugitives handed over to Pakistan. The US Treasury Department announced that Dawood Ibrahim alias Sheikh Dawood Hassan has been included in the list of 'Specially Designated Global Terrorist' and his assets within the US have been frozen. Such a designation freezes any assets belonging to Ibrahim within the US and prohibits transactions with American nationals, the announcement said. The US administration is to request the United Nations (UN) to put him on its list of terrorists as well in pursuance of relevant Security Council resolutions. Meanwhile, Pakistani Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on October 17 denied that Ibrahim is living in Karachi. "He is neither a Pakistani citizen, nor does he live in Karachi," claimed Ahmed in Islamabad. Jang, October 18, 2003; Indian Express, October 17, 2003

Karachi-based charity Al Akhtar Trust placed on US terror list: The US Treasury on October 14, 2003, designated Al Akhtar Trust, a Karachi-based charity, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224. The trust is accused of being a terrorist financier, assisting the Al Qaeda and attempting to raise money for attacks in Iraq. "Shutting down this organization will cripple yet another source of support for terrorists and possibly help undermine the financial backing of terrorists staging attacks against American troops and Iraqi civilians in Iraq," Treasury Secretary John Snow said in a statement. The Al Akhtar Trust was reportedly formed in November 2000 to provide financial assistance for Islamist extremists, including the Taliban and to feed, clothe and educate the children of religious "martyrs." The Treasury has alleged that the trust secretly treated Al Qaeda cadres injured during fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan in year 2001. Daily Times, October 15, 2003.


Three LTTE cadres sentenced to death in Dalada Maligawa bomb attack case: The three Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) cadres accused in the Dalada Maligawa bomb attack case were sentenced to death on October 16, 2003, by the Kandy High Court. While one of them, identifed as Subramaniam Ravindran was tried in absentia, the other two Muthusamipillai Dharmalingam and Krishnasamy Ramachandran are under detention. The trio was indicted on 149 charges, including conspiracy to damage the Sri Dalada Maligawa (Temple of the Tooth Relic) in Kandy town using explosives and aiding the attack on January 25, 1998, which had claimed 20 lives. Daily News, October 17, 2003.


The South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) is a weekly service that brings you regular data, assessments and news briefs on terrorism, insurgencies and sub-conventional warfare, on counter-terrorism responses and policies, as well as on related economic, political, and social issues, in the South Asian region.

SAIR is a project of the Institute for Conflict Management and the South Asia Terrorism Portal.


South Asia Intelligence Review [SAIR]

K. P. S. Gill

Dr. Ajai Sahni

To receive FREE advance copies of SAIR by email Subscribe.

Recommend South Asia Intelligence Review (SAIR) to a friend.





Copyright © 2001 SATP. All rights reserved.