Terror funding: bid seen to reactivate banned outfits in India

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The details may soon be shared with key FATF member-nations

Investigating agencies pursuing terror-funding cases have gathered inputs indicating that, given the stringent conditions set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for Pakistan to escape blacklisting, attempts are now being made to reactivate some banned outfits in India.

The details, which may soon be shared with key FATF member-nations, state that outfits like Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind that came up in 2017 as a so-called affiliate of Al-Qaeda and whose alleged chief Zakir Musa was killed by the security forces in Kashmir in May, are being encouraged to intensify their activities.

In Jammu and Kashmir, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) are already probing multiple terror-funding cases involving the Jaish-e-Mohammed and the Lashkar-e-Taiba.

According to a government source, such Pakistan-based outfits have been directed by their handlers not to publicise their fund-raising activities, particularly on social media platforms, to avoid attracting the attention of the international media/organisations, in the context of FATF proceedings against Pakistan.

As alleged, the absconding members of the Indian Mujahideen, who are now in Pakistan, have been again activated by the Inter-Services Intelligence. The outfit’s co-founder, Iqbal Bhatkal, is currently said to be located in Pakistan’s Faisalabad.

“It is suspected that funds are being provided to them for carrying out terror activities in different parts of India, to project that local elements are involved,” said the official.

The outfit had fallen silent following the arrest of most of its alleged members by Indian enforcement agencies. Its top “functionary”, Yasin Bhatkal, was arrested along the India-Nepal border in August 2013. The same route is suspected to have been activated again for sending new recruits, the ptobe agencies suspect.
Efforts to initiate protests again

“Earlier, as found by the NIA, pelters of stones were being funded for targeting security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir. Attempts are again being made to orchestrate protests,” said the official. One such incident was reported recently in Poonch, where people had gathered close to the Line of Control.

Besides, the official said, funds were being provided to generate and circulate audio, video and text messages for instigating and recruiting locals.

The agencies are also investigating the funding angle to the arrest of some alleged Khalistan Zindabad Force conduits in Punjab last month, following the seizure of two drones used for dropping weapons from across the border last month.

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