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The SIMI and Indian Mujahideen

SIMI, The Students Islamic Movement of India

SIMI, The Students Islamic Movement of India is an Islamic Student organization that was formed in Aligarh, UP in April 1977 with the mission of ‘liberation of India’ from Western cultural influence and to convert it into a Muslim society with Muslim code of conduct.

SIMI has been banned by the Indian Government in 2002 for its involvement in terrorist attacks in India, and also by USA. There are possibilities that SIMI has been penetrated by Al Qaeda. It is suspected that SIMI is now also operating under the name of Indian Mujahideen, an outfit that has taken responsibility for the 2008 Ahmadabad blasts, Jaipur blasts and Delhi blasts.

IM communicates with the media under pseudonyms of Al-Arbi and Al-Hindi.

Born from Jamaat-e-Islami Hind

SIMI’s founding president was Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi, professor of Journalism at Illinois, USA. SIMI originally was the student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH). SIMI stood for radical social change in India by waging Jihad, an approach not appreciated by the JIH. SIMI separated from JIH and continued as a hard line Islamic Organization. SIMI has 400 Ansar or registered members and 20,000 supporting members or Ikhwans.

Banning SIMI

After being banned, SIMI faced serious differences of opinion among its members about starting an Armed struggle. SIMI President, Misbahul Islam along with the majority of SIMI members strongly opposes any armed conflict, believing such an approach to be against the interest of India and its citizens.

However, some members, driven by emotional issues such as the demolition of the Babri Masjid, Gujarat riots and India’s friendship with the US advocate armed struggle against the Government. This faction is led by the former general secretary of SIMI, Safdar Nagori. Safdar Nagori has denied responsibility for bombings in Indian cities, although Security Agencies in India claim that they were carried out by his group.

SIMI considers Hindu organizations (Sangh Parivar) as enemies of Islam. SIMI organized violent protests against the demolition of the Babri Mosque. In the nationwide violence that followed the demolitions, SIMI activists clashed against the Police and the Sangh Parivar.

The Government of India, has banned SIMI for the third time on 08-02-2006. The third ban on SIMI was lifted by the Delhi High Court Tribunal on 5 August 2008 quoting “Material given by the Home Ministry is insufficient, so ban cannot be continued,”

Indian Mujahideen

IM, the Indian Mujahideen is a home-grown terrorist group in Pakistan which has claimed responsibility for several attacks in India. According to IB, IM is believed to be a “shadow amalgam of SIMI & LeT” & SIMI took new titles because of detainment of the top leadership by the govt.


Two days after the 13 May 2008 Jaipur bombings, the IM sent e-mails to the Indian media claiming responsibility for the attacks. The biggest and boldest attack to date by the group was the 2008 Ahmedabad serial blasts. It is assumed and confirmed that most people involved in this organization are living inside India. It is suspected that the major leaders of the IM are Abdus Subhan Qureshi, a software engineer from Mumbai & Safdar Nagori.


The Indian Mujahideen have sent several emails claiming responsibility for several bombings.

A 14 page e-mail sent 4 minutes before Ahmedabad blasts contains the following text – “… Here we are back – the Mujahideen of India – the terrorists on the disbelievers after our triumphant and successful assault at Jaipur, once again calling you all, who disbelieve in Allah & his messenger Muhammad to accept Islam and save yourselves.

O Hindus! O disbelieving faithless Indians! Haven’t you still realized that the falsehood of your 33 crore dirty mud idols and the blasphemy of your deaf, dumb, mute idols are not at all going to save your necks, from being slaughtered?

We call you, O Hindus, O enemies of Allah, to take an honest stance with yourselves lest another attack of Ghauri massacres you, proving your blood to be the cheapest of all mankind! Have you forgotten your history full of subjugation, humiliation, and insult? Or do you want us to repeat it again? Take heed before it is too late!

So wait! only for five minutes from now! for the Mujahideen of Islam who will make you feel the terror of Jihad. Feel the havoc cast into your hearts by Allah, face His Dreadful Punishment, and suffer the results of fighting the Muslims Await the anguish, agony, sorrow and pain. only for 5 minutes, to feel the fear of death…”.


The terrorists had procured five SIM cards of phones that were switched off on the day of the blasts – July 26. The analysis of the phone calls made to the SIM cards from PCOs provided the key leads. The arrest of ten suspects included the leader, Mufti Abu Bashir Ishlahi alias Abdul Wasir, who was arrested in Uttar Pradesh on August 14, 2008. Bashir claimed that the bombings cost Rs 75,000 and a SIMI activist sold his house in Kutch to get the amount.

Bashir, stayed in Ahmedabad, bought five SIM cards using local names and addresses & used these cellphones to remain in touch with the other members. Key members of the Indian Mujahideen are in Mumbai police custody.

The Jamia Nagar Raid

On September 19, 2008, the Delhi police raided an apartment in Jamia Nagar resulting in the death of terrorists Mohammed Atif Amin, Mohammad Sajid (all from Azamgarh) and a decorated police officer Mohan Chand Sharma in the gunfight. Two hostiles managed to flee by jumping the rooftops. The five were responsible for manufacturing bombs used in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and Delhi blasts.

Atif was said to have been the leader of a group of 14 young men belong to Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, all claiming to have been studying in Delhi. The media has given a bad name to Azamgarh by calling it a “nursery of terror”. Mafia don Abu Salem & Dawood Ibrahim hail from here. Azamgarh is known for making country- made pistols (kattas). The district was also known for young apprentice hitmen who join Mumbai mafia.