Saturday, September 8, 2012

profiles of terror

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“Most wanted Profiles of terror” introduction by K.P.S.Gill; its general editor is Harinder Baweji. And authors of its respective pieces are the journalists, who have interviewed the “most wanted” terrorists and made their profiles Rahimullah Yusufzai, Haeinder Baweja, Amir Mir, Subir Bhaumik, R.Rajagophlan and Zafar Meraj.

Edition first published 00 by Lotus Collection, imprint of Roli Books Pvt Ltd, Pauls Press, Okhla, and New Dilhi.


Writing a profile is not easy but a complex process, it needs not only competent but sound knowledge on the part of the writer. The Author or the authors should be well versed in the subject and have access to latest as well as earlier knowledge on it. Terrorism is referred to as India’s threat number one. It has spread its tentacles far and wide through different groups working in Kashmir and other places. The book has an association, which circulates around death, especially training their guns on India. These pages, presents profiles of various terrorists that are creating havoc in around the world. Giving a list of six, four of them Islamic fundamentalists, Osama Bin Laden of Al-Qaeda, Maulana Masood Azhar of Jaish-e-Mohammed, Hafiz Mohammed Saeed of Lashkar-e-Toiba, Paresh Barua from ULFA, Veiupillai Prabhakaran from LTTE and lastly Syed Salahudin of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen. These profiles have been prepared by journalists from India and Pakistan who came in contact with these merchants of death in the course of their professional duties.

K.S.P Gill’s introduction had given the insightful overview of the book. He is presently the President of the Institute for Conflict Management, Mr. Gill has been President of the ICM, and is publisher and editor of the Institutes quarterly, Fault lines Writings in Conflict & Terrorism. He writes regularly for a number of journals, newspapers and magazines on politics, the economy, and governance, with a special focus on internal security and terrorism. He is also the author of Knights of Falsehood (17), a book exploring both the abuse of the Sikh Identity by politicians and terrorists in Punjab, and the teachings of the Sikh Gurus.


Rahimullah Yusufzai, Pakistani journalist based in Peshawar. He was the first to report the emergence of Taliban Islamic Movement and interviewed Mullah Omar. He was the only journalist to enter Khosh camp to interviewed Osama Bin Laden .The author also works for BBC, ABC News and Times. He has also won award for the best English columnist in 185. Presently he is the executive editor of English daily, The News International. He is the joint author of the book, The Past, Present and future of Afghanistan.

Harinder Baweja is a close watcher of events in Pakistan and Afghanistan, she wrote A Soldier Dairy and earned a reputation as committed reporter. She won the Prabha Dutt Award for investigative reporting in 15 and in 000 won a fellowship at Washington DC where she wrote a paper on Kashmir and Third Party Mediation. Presently she is working as Managing Editor, Current Affairs, and Roli books.

Amir Mir is the founder of Weekly Independent. Begin his career with The Frontier Post and worked with nearly every newspaper in Pakistan. He also made stints with UAE`s Gulf News and Saudi Arabia’s Arab News. Gets his publication every weak, also working as Outlook’s Lahore correspondent since 15.

Zafar Meraj stared his career as a reporter for Urdu daily, Aaina, then in 180 switched to Press Trust of India. He worked for Kashmir times The Guardian and Financial Times (London), India today, India Abroad and Independent (Mumbai). Also contributed to Zee News and Aaj ki Baat. Presently Meraj edits The Kashmir Monitor.

Subir Bhaumik is BBc’s Eastern Correspondent, and author of Insurgent Crossfire Northeast India. In 0 years of journalism, Bhaumik has trekked to remote rebel bases and Developed acquaintances with many leader including Paresh Barua.

R.Rajagopalan worked with Dinamani and a Tamil daily. He met LTTE leader Prabhakaran three times in Chennai and Delhi. HE broke the story regarding Indian banning the Indian Cricket team from going to Colombo. HE is presently working as chief of Bureau of Vaartha.


“Most Wanted, Profiles of Terror” is the biography of six militant who through their respective organization hold out the maximum threat to India. The book has been divided into seven parts, according to its table of content. Well known counter terrorism expert K.P.S.Gill’s introduction gives an insightful overview while the other authors have profiled leaders of six important militant organization to provide rich, often frightening details of their skills and expertise. These six, so called, terrorists are “most wanted” not only because of their past activities but also because of the threat they continue to hold out.

Apart from giving the background of the militant attitude, the writers have also provided a glimpse of their modus operandi, their beliefs, aims and motives and how they rouse people to follow their course of jihad. K.P.S. Gill, in his introduction, describe heavily on his experience of tackling militancy in Punjab to maintain that it is not possible to get the militants to the discussion without first defeating them on the ground.

At the very first, in the list is the man President Bush desperately wants dead or alive, Osama bin Laden. Rahimullah Yususzai, a Pakistani journalist, charts Osama’s life from his childhood in Saudi Arabia. Furious by the presence of infidel’ Americans in his country, he affirms to take revenge on them. Later, he also targets Israel and India to his hit list. Hounded out of his homeland, he first settled in Sudan and then in Afghanistan where he found in the Taliban a perfect ally to fulfill his plans. The US action in Afghanistan and the fall of the Taliban did not change him a bit. He is believed to have escaped the US bombings and from his unidentified hideout, he calls upon Muslims all over the world to carry on his jihad. He reasons that the anti-Us bombings took place because of his calls and warnings as he said

“If the instigation for jihad against the Americans and Israelis to liberate the Al-Aqsa mosque and Holy Ka’aba is considered a crime, let history be witness that I am a criminal.”

When the Government of India released Maulana Masood Azhar, the chief of the Jaish-e-Mohammed or the Army of the prophet, and two others in exchange for the passengers of IC-814, hijacked from Katmandu to Kandahar in December 1, they did not realize (in the words of Harinder Baweja) that he was a live bomb that had been ticking all the six years that he was behind bars. A man who introduces jihadi feelings into a revolution, which had initially started as a battle for independence. He was happy playing role of journalist through Sada-I-Mujahid until the demolition of Babri Masjid at Ayodhya on 6 Dec 1.Thus turning his attention towards India and Kashmir. He was skilled orator and so started a department of motivation. To visit India his purpose was to aid the Kashmiri Mujahideen in their struggle against Hindu India and to boost the morale of freedom fighters. Today, his Jaish-e-Mohammad is one of the most dreaded terrorist outfits in Kashmir. Now, under US pressure, Gen Pervez Musharraf has put him in detention, but this detention is rather symbolic. He is able to contact anyone outside, and continues to direct the activities of his Jaish.

For Prof Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, chief of Lashkar-e-Toiba, records Amir Mir, another Pakistani journalist, killing is a ‘pious’ man’s obligation, and the professor considers himself a very ‘pious’ man. He is an academician and is well known for his guerrilla attacks in Kashmir and attack on Red Fort in New Delhi in 000. His outfit has to account for more than 15000 lives in Kashmir, including those of a large number of Lashkar-e-Toiba militants. Since its launch in 11, the Lashkar has set up six military training camps in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, 500 offices in Pakistan and two dozen launching camps along the Line of Control. Professor’s past has been bloody, with a cause for revenge as thirty six members of his family had been murdered during the partition in 147.His two main targets are India and Israel since they are main enemies of Islam and Pakistan. Lashkar has been claiming responsibility for various acts of terrorism not only in Kashmir but also in India. However, Professor believes in one voice that is God, which he says authoritatively,

“This jihad has been commanded by Allah Almighty and no one can stop it.”

The Indian authorities as one of their most wanted men have marked Mohammad Yusuf Shah, alias Syed Salahuddin, Supreme Commander of the Hizbul Mujahideen, from Kashmir. His followers call him Pir sahib and believe that he possesses supernatural powers, records Zafar Meraj. Having great love for independence and Pakistan, he began to through speeches and conducted pro-Pakistan seminars, at early stages of his life. Besides serving the jamaat, his mission was to preach, whether traveling, at home, outside, public places or even in jail. The authorities termed his preaching anti-national activities as he also worked with pro-freedom organizations. The Hizbul Mujahideen was set up in 18 by merging different jehadi groups. Today, Salahuddin commands his boys from his base in Azad Kashmir with the help of a highly modern communication network and Hizb is considered the most powerful and probably the only original Kashmiri militant group .His life is seen as one which withstood great changes, as spending 45 years in cities, doing imamant (holding the office of an imam) enjoying public speaking, teaching students and leading a family life he became leader of Hizb. He began living in jungles and deserted places, cut off from the world, from worldly comforts and family ties. Indian soldiers set various traps to capture Salahudin but he eluded them each time. Amongst the most wanted in the list of twenty, submitted to Pakistan by Indians government, Salahudin is a virtual prisoner.

Indian journalist Subir Bhaumik plan the career of railway porter-turned-militant, Paresh Barua who claims to be the Commander-in-Chief of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA). Even though his violent movement has almost petered out, he still fancies himself, as a modern-day Lachit Barphukan, who defeated the Mughal army in 167.He, is considered violent and armed. It is also said that he lives on money obtained from robbery or extortion and can even handle and produce weapons. He is said to have obtained arms and guerrilla training under NSCN, KIA, and ISI of Pakistan. He ordered and approved kidnappings, killings and extortion, band dacoity and other violent activities by ULFA .His passion for Assam’s freedom have not waned and he is convinced that it is not a wasted dream. The struggle has just begun, he maintains.

Velupilai Prabhakaran, the Chief of LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), is a man who ordered the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi and later acknowledged it as a mistake, is a kind of religious group who has trained men and women of the LTTE to the extent that they renounce their family ties, friends and marital pleasures. Velupilai Prabhakaran never initiates an assassination without worshipping Kali, the Mother Goddess who combines in her the creative and destructive attributes of the Supreme Power. His followers are totally devoted to the idea of a Tamil state in Sri Lanka and have abiding loyalty to Prabhakaran. R. Rajagopalan records that the LTTE has carried out at least five times the number of suicide attacks than all other similar organizations put together. Therefore peace in Sri Lanka has no chance until the Tamils are counted and valued.

Other then the biographies two annexure that is the additional material or document is also given in the book related to some excerpts from Omer Sheikh and Masood Azhar’s interrogation reports.


Critically speaking, The “Profiles of Terror” assumes great significance and has been carried out with intelligence and great sensitivity by the authors. The profiles produce a picture of complex realities of terrorism. The book helps understand pattern of mobilization for terrorist activities and also what happens in democratic societies when they are confronted with violence of this type. More over this book also helps to understand the unusual demand of terrorist leaders and movement and the pattern of support they make.

At present there is little awareness of the terrorist mass mobilization. Therefore there is confusion over the nature, which is regarded in great crisis and mistakenly come to regard them as terrorist, instead of what they actually are.

Through the read of the profile of this book, we come to make judgment our self whether the, so-called, terrorist carry out crime or is it the way Allah has commanded them for their Jihad.

The authors of this book “Profiles O Terror” have shown a just attitude to their writing. They have been totally unbiased on portraying the real situation. The text is easy to read with expression that stands out for both brevity and clarity. However sometimes one needs to refer back to a certain section when it fits in with the overall plot. The situations are well described and helps to keep readers absorbed in the text, but sometimes like in Subir Bhaumik`s writing, the detail seems not to be revealed, therefore with one’s finger inadvertently trying to flip the page.

“Profiles of Terror” is a type of book that is good for basic read, in order to know and understand the terrorist’s, their aims and purposes, behind their acts, which never stops to inform you more, till the last page is turned. More over the best part in the book are the pictures of the most wanted terrorist, which have been given on the very start of each profile, making an image in our minds of the person we are reading.

“Historical Dictionary of Terrorism” by Sean K Anders, Stephen Sloan, Bhashyam Kasturi is a similar book dealing with the profiles of European terrorists published in 00, as given information and detail biography of the terrorist or their organizations.

Other books have also been published individually, related to the most wanted terrorist, for example book on Osama Bin Laden giving it the name “Bin Laden - Behind the Mask of the Terrorist” by Adam Robinson.

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