Global terror networks: ‘First Indian al Qaeda member is an engineer'

Mohammad Niaz was arrested in France for links with al Qaeda’s Algerian arm.

Aditi Phadnis May 24, 2011


The first Indian Muslim to be associated with global terror network al Qaeda, who was arrested in France two weeks ago, is a mechanical engineer from south India, Indian Home Minister P Chidambaram announced on Monday.

Mohammad Niaz, who hails from Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu, had been “radicalised” very early in life and had been in touch with the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi), Chidambaram told reporters in New Delhi. “He joined Simi based in Tamil Nadu at the age of 21 and had been on the scanner of Indian intelligence agencies before he was arrested (in France),” he said. Simi is also allegedly allied with the Lashkar-e-Taiba, which the Indian government believes is responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

Niaz was arrested at the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris on May 10 upon arrival from Algeria, where he had developed links with an al Qaeda franchise. “It is reported that Niaz has been arrested for links with the terror group that is recruiting people for jihad in the Pakistan and Afghanistan region,” Chidambaram said. “The inputs that the government has on him indicate that he is a trained activist with a militant bent of mind,” he said.

Niaz is among seven suspected terrorists held by French authorities earlier this month. But the French government has not linked them to any specific plan to carry out attacks in that country. French Interior Minister Claude Gueant described Niaz as a man with a high level of technical training.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2011.


G. Din | 12 years ago | Reply @Vinayak: to Rohit "If Jawaharlal Nehru had agreed to mass transfer, India would not have had Abdul Kalam, Mohd. Rafi, AR Rehmaan or Azim Premji, to mention only a few Indian-Muslims. " It could also be said that since no Muslim country has produced the likes of those you have mentioned, that this fact stands to the credit of India which provided the conditions for their flowering into such productive citizens. Nehru was a blind appeaser of Muslims, nothing else and so are all his orphans in the Congress Party and other parties. It is not appeasement politics that made even one of those you have mentioned great. They all were hard intelligent workers and India rewarded their hard work as it does/ would any other citizen, Muslim or other. It follows therefore that if a transfer of populations had indeed occurred, India would have still produced and nurtured talent. However, we would not have had the shameful spectacle of Indian Muslims rooting on home ground for Pakistani teams, hoisting black flags or Pakistani flags atop their houses on national days sacred to all non-Muslims over the last some 60 years or being generally exclusionary or mounting an heinous attempt at skewing the Indian political system by working hand in glove with cynical politicians in getting quotas and other entitlements at the cost of others much worse placed in the Indian polity. It is, nevertheless, a matter of some gratification that Indian Muslims seem to have now turned the corner and are increasingly getting more and more patriotic. One could say they have started to see the light which their coreligionists in other parts of the world have still to see!
Indiyan | 12 years ago | Reply @Rohit and @Vinayak I agree with Rohit.... I live in US and friend of mine is a Muslim from India and he has the same quality Rohit's friend has got (soft corner's towards bad Muslim guys/groups). Why??? When their entire family survives with our Indian people... haw can they even think about being against India???
Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read