Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Mohammad Sajid, alleged Indian Mujaideen member said to have died in Syria

NAME: Mohammad Sajid
AGE: 30
FROM: Azamgarh
STATUS: Went missing after Batla House encounter; presumed killed in Syria
In his last conversation home, on September 18, 2008, Mohammad Sajid had enquired about members of the family and promised to visit for Eid that week.
The next day, Delhi Police would burst into the flat in Batla House where Sajid lived with other youths from Azamgarh. Two of the occupants would be killed and one arrested; the police say Sajid escaped with Ariz Khan.
Intelligence agencies now assume Mohammad Sajid alias Bada Sajid, an alleged Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative, was killed fighting for Islamic State forces in Syria. His family in Azamgarh will not believe it.

“We have had no information about him since the police declared him an absconder. There is no confirmation from the government if he is dead or alive,” said his elder brother Mohammad Shakir. “We last spoke to him the day before the Batla House encounter. Sajid had gone to Delhi to pursue a diploma course in jewellery design. He also joined a course in English speaking in Delhi.”
Sajid’s roommates Atif Ameen and Chhota Sajid were killed in the encounter while Mohammad Saif was arrested. The Delhi police claimed Sajid and Ariz Khan escaped, Sajid reportedly to Pakistan.

According to the interrogation reports of other IM operatives, Bada Sajid joined the IM after Saif’s brother Dr Shahnawaj and Atif Amin introduced him to the organisation. Sajid is accused in the 2008 blasts of New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur in which 166 people were killed.

The National Investigation Agency had a reward of Rs 10 lakh on Sajid’s head. Intelligence agencies say Bada Sajid was among the IM’s second-rung leaders. He is said to have split with the IM’s Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal and formed a new group, Ansar al-Tawhid, initially based in Tehreek-e-Taliban training camps in North Waziristan.
In July, The Indian Express reported how Sabah Media, the propaganda wing of Ansar ul-Tawhid, announced Sajid’s death. It issued a statement announcing “the martyrdom of our brother Abu Turab al-Hindi on the forefront of the war for Islam in Kobani”. Sajid’s real name was in parentheses.

“Whatever information we have about my brother is what the media has reported or what visiting police teams have told us,” said Shakir.
Sajid, who studied at a madrasa in Azamgarh and appeared for the high school finals as a private candidate, went to Mumbai in 2006 to learn the jewellery trade and worked as diamond polisher. In 2008, he returned home and asked his family to allow him to go to Delhi.

“Sajid told us that after completing the six-month diploma course he would get a job abroad. He reached Delhi in July 2008 and joined the course on English speaking. His admission to the diploma course was almost finalised when that encounter took place and he disappeared,” said Shakir.

Shakir, who studied till Class XII and is married, supports the family through farming. The family includes his mother, 75, and a younger brother who suffers from epilepsy. Their father died in 2001.

Muhammad Sajid, Indian Mujahideen serial bombing suspect, killed in Syria conflict: Jihadi websites

Written by Praveen Swami | New Delhi | Updated: July 4, 2015 3:25 pm

Fugitive Indian Mujahideen commander Muhammad “Bada” Sajid has been killed while fighting with Islamic State forces in Syria, online jihadist media claimed on Friday. Isabah Media, the propaganda wing of the Indian jihadist group Ansar ul-Tawhid, announced “the martyrdom of our brother Abu Turab al-Hindi on the forefront of the war for Islam in Kobani”. The statement, in Arabic, identified Sajid by his real name in parenthesis.
The 30-year-old Sajid, from Sanjarpur in UP, had been named by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as one of the perpetrators of the Indian Mujahideen bombings of 2008 that killed at least 166 people and injured hundreds in New Delhi, Ahmedabad and Jaipur.

Reports have also emerged of the killing in Syria of two other Indians, identified in jihadist media only by the pseudonyms Abu Talha and Abu Muhammad.
Bhatkal resident Sultan Abdul Kadir Armar and Thane call centre employee Saheem Tanki had earlier been claimed by jihadist media to have died fighting in Syria.

One tweet on Sajid said: “Before Abu Turaab [Sajid] got shahadah [martyrdom], three brother[s] dreamt about him marrying a hoor-ul-ayn [virgin in paradise]”. Another tweet claimed that he had been “waging jihad in India since he was 12 years old”.

News of Sajid’s death was also tweeted from a handle believed to be controlled by Fahd Sheikh who, along with Tanki, was among the four youngsters from Thane who were the first Indians to join the IS, as reported by The Indian Express on July 13, 2014. Indian intelligence officials told The Indian Express that news of Sajid’s death in Kobani had circulated amongst his contacts in India three days ago. “It’s near-impossible to gain on-ground verification but the information we have suggests that the report of Sajid’s death is accurate,” an official said.

Educated at the Madrasa Islah in Azamgarh district, Sajid worked briefly as a diamond polisher in Mumbai. Investigators involved in the 2008 case said he was drawn to the Indian Mujahideen by the head of its north India network, the slain terrorist Atif Amin. Following the unravelling of the Indian Mujahideen’s networks in 2008, Sajid and Sultan Armar from Bhatkal, who was later killed, is believed to have fled through Nepal and UAE to Pakistan. Across the border, Sajid is believed to have been part of a group of Indian Mujahideen operatives who parted ways with the organisation’s leader Riyaz Shahbandri, also known as Riyaz Bhatkal. Last year, the rebels formed the Ansar al-Tauhid group, initially based at Tehreek-e-Taliban training camps in Pakistan’s North Waziristan.

Little  information has emerged on the identities of the other two Indians claimed to have been killed in Kobani. However, the alias Abu Talha was known to have been used by Haja Fakkurudeen Usman Ali, a Tamil Nadu-born Singapore resident who left for Turkey along with his family on January 22, 2014, and then disappeared across the Syrian border.
Police in Singapore later claimed that Fakkurudeen had intended to fund a network of Indian jihadists, led by Gul Mohamed Maracachi Maraicar, a resident of Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu who was stripped of his Singapore residency and repatriated to India in February.
Indian investigators have, however, been unable to find adequate evidence to initiate prosecution against Maraicar, who is believed to be cooperating with authorities.

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