Safdar Nagori, chief of the outlawed Students Islamic Movement of India, was considered a prize catch for the investigators in India. Nagori was picked up with ten others from Indore in Madhya Pradesh earlier this year after being tracked down for six years.
Nagori, who has been interrogated by the police of 11 different states, provided investigators with a lot of information. Nagori who has also been subject to a narco analysis test in Bengaluru and also 30 hours of interrogation, spoke in detail about SIMI, the reasons why he felt the need to take an extremist view and spread terror in the country.
"I am an extremist and not a fundamentalist. My actions were never religion based. The atrocities against the Muslims in the country and the rest of the world angered me. The demolition of the Babri Masjid and the Gujarat riots were turning points," Nagori said during his interrogation.
During his narco analysis test, Nagori said that there was a division within the SIMI. While the Misba-ul-Islam faction decided that it wanted to take a softer approach, the Nagori faction differed. He said that since there was a difference of opinion, there was no option but to split.
As a first step, Nagori decided that it would be best to recruit more educated youth into SIMI. Techies were always preferred, he said. Not only are they excellent planners, but they always maintain a low key profile which was perfect for the organisation. Once this idea was mooted, Nagori recruited several techies in Hyderabad. The main criteria being looked into during the recruitment was that the persons should be well versed with computers and hacking. Their role was to hack into systems and send out mails prior and after terror attacks. This according to Nagori acted as a distraction to investigating agencies. Further they were also assigned the role of providing information relating to bomb making and the use of chemicals.
The group called themselves the Muslim Techinical Persons Organisation. The first of the attacks after the formation of this group was the Mumbai train bombings in which techies like Peedical Shibly, Yahya Kamakutty and Muzzamil Sheikh (all arrested) played a vital role.
Nagori further revealed that an all important meeting of his techie force was held at Ujjain on July 4, 2006. Nagori said that the meeting discussed plans to take the war against India to the next level.
Nagori said that off late the organisation had been finding it difficult to recruit youth. This is when he came up with the plan of setting up an all woman force called the Shaheen Force. The force comprised woman who were entrusted with the task of brainwashing the younger generation into joining SIMI and helping in its terror activities. According to the Hyderabad police at least 110 women from the city had been recruited into this force on the instructions of Safdar Nagori.
An investigating officer told rediff.com that Nagori was a tough nut to crack and he was not very forthcoming with his answers. He did speak at length about the operations but only hinted at future attacks. Not once did he mention the time and place of the next attack. The IB says that it is unlikely that Nagori was kept in the loop about the future attacks, since SIMI operates on a need to know basis just like security agencies.