The Jammu and Kashmir police have arrested a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist from Samba district who was involved in the killing of 3 BJP workers and a policeman last year. He has been brought to Kashmir for questioning.
The terrorist has been identified as Zahoor Ahmad Rather, alias Khalid alias Sahil. According to sources, he was hiding in Bari Brahman town. He killed 3 BJP workers last year in Vessu, Kulgam, and one policeman at Furrah in Kulgam, Inspector General of Police (Kashmir) Vijay Kumar said.
He undertook terrorist training from PoJK in 2004 and had brought five foreign terrorists with him to Bharat. He surrendered in 2006 but last year again started his terrorist activities, Kumar added.
This again brings into question the de-radicalisation and monitoring systems used by our security and intelligence agencies to watch over surrendered terrorists. It reminds us of the case of Pune’s well-educated suicide bomber aspirant Sadiya Anwar Shaikh (20) who was also ‘de-radicalised’ twice by security agencies – in 2015 (when she was just 15!) and then again in 2018 after she was arrested in Kashmir while trying for admission into a nursing college there. .
However, this didn’t stop her from embracing Jihadi ideology again and teaming up with the Delhi-based Islamic State recruiters, the husband-wife duo of Jahanzaib Sami and Hina Beigh, who were looking to instigate Muslim youth to violence over anti-CAA protests. Sadiya Shaikh was trying to find places in Pune where she could procure a suicide vest, and had also learnt how to make an IED from picric acid! She was finally arrested last year along with another Pune resident Nabeel Siddick Khatri (27) and charge-sheeted by NIA.
Are we just focusing on the individuals concerned, and not acting against the mosques, religious institutions and other groups that create the fertile intellectual ecosystem in which terror takes root? Can any anti-terror strategy succeed unless we act against the radical or fundamentalist clerics like Zakir Naik and others associated with bodies like Tablighi Jamaat, Jamaat-e-Islami, Deoband, PFI etc?
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