NEW DELHI: Anti-terror investigators probing the Burdwan terror blast are shocked over the penetration of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in West Bengal and certain districts of Assam.
An officer said a string of intelligence inputs received in the past had warned of the JMB’s attempts to establish links in small towns of West Bengal and Assam. However, the active terror module, operating with the help of newly-raised madrasas, near the Indo-Bangladesh border took them by surprise.
Intelligence sources said the JMB was almost neutralised in Bangladesh during 2005-06 and it appears that West Bengal had became a safe haven for some most wanted terrorists, due to complete negligence of successive state governments. They also admitted to a complete failure of local intelligence in detecting suspicious activities.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) DG, Sharad Kumar, who visited West Bengal to monitor the probe had confirmed that the agency was looking for many more absconding terrorists linked to Burdwan module.
It is learnt that Kumar, after coming back from West Bengal on Saturday, also briefed National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who is expected to visit Burdwan on Monday. Although, the NIA refused to divulge more details about the JMB modules operating in the state, a series of WikiLeaks cables provide an in-depth analysis of the JMB and madrasas nexus in the state.
Did the state machinery ignore the terrorist penetration?
A series of WikiLeaks cables dumped by the whistleblower website revealed the penetration of the JMB and its associates in West Bengal. The cable, which originated from the US Consulate in Kolkata, the US Embassy in Dhaka and New Delhi, quoted state officials who knew that West Bengal border districts were turning into a hotbed for terrorist activities.
A December 16, 2005 cable from the US Consulate in Kolkata, quoting Indian officers says that radical Islamic elements enjoy increasing influence in the bordering areas and authorities have also noted mushrooming of madrasas on both the Indian and Bangladeshi sides of the border.
The cable said that the authorities were also concerned that militants could easily obtain Indian Passports and disappear inside the country or use India as a launching pad for international travel. The cable also blamed the state government’s unwillingness to enforce border controls to prevent illegal immigration.
Another cable from Global Intelligence Files suggested that the JMB operated from three districts in West Bengal -- Murshidabad, Malda and Nadia -- with 100 active modules. The cable released in 2013 suggested that the JMB had raised seven madrasas in the three districts, with the help of sympathisers.