DAVANAGERE: Suspected terrorist Riyazuddin Nasir alias Mohammed Ghouse wanted to visit the United States and spread terror there, he has told interrogators.
Since it was difficult to gain entry into the US, Ghouse had twice pleaded with terrorist leaders to at least send him to Iraq to work as a fidayeen “” an extremist who equips himself with arms and ammunition and strikes a target, causing mass destruction.
However, the terrorist leaders persuaded him to drop the idea as they thought “there is so much to do in India”.
Think globally; wage jihad locally.
Ghouse, who was well informed about post-9/11 incidents, grudged the American invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Investigations have revealed that Ghouse visited Mecca thrice for umrah (a pilgrimage undertaken during the non-Haj season), on a family passport that had a validity of 10 years up to December 2006.
He first visited Mecca as a child in 1996. In 2005, during his second trip, he met Abdul Samad, brother of South India’s most wanted terrorist, Shahid Bilal, and reportedly expressed his willingness to go to Iraq as a fidayee to fight American forces.
However, his plan did not materialize. In 2006, Samad got Ghouse a fake passport and sent him to Pakistan. While undergoing training there, Ghouse again expressed his keenness to go to Iraq. But Bilal stopped him.
After Ghouse completed his training in Pakistan “” from May 2006 to January 2007 “” he was sent to India through the Nepal border with a mission: indulge in subversion and disturb peace.
Besides use of arms and explosives, Ghouse was trained in operating computers, reading and drawing maps, sketching and horse riding. “He has a graphic memory and is very quick in drawing maps,” a police officer says.
Ghouse had planned to blast the Andhra Pradesh police headquarters in Hyderabad. The arrest of his father and brother, and the case booked against him by the Hyderabad police, made a teenage Ghouse drop out of college and take the path of jihad.
A senior IPS officer narrates an argument he had with Ghouse on jihad. When the officer pointed out that Islam shuns violence, Ghouse is supposed to have said: “Jihad is a holy struggle in the name of Allah.” The officer says: “After half an hour, I gave up because I realized it would be impossible to convince him.”
Ghouse and his associate Asadullah Abubaker, who were arrested in Davanagere district on charges of terrorism, are in police custody.