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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08NEWDELHI156
2008-01-16 10:51:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy New Delhi
Cable title:  

UTTAR PRADESH: NEW TERRORIST HUB

Tags:   PTER  ASEC  PGOV  CASC  PREL  KISL  KCRM  IN 
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VZCZCXRO3716
RR RUEHBC RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDE RUEHKUK RUEHLH RUEHPW RUEHROV
DE RUEHNE #0156/01 0161051
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 161051Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0044
INFO RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCNISL/ISLAMIC COLLECTIVE
RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 2272
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL KOLKATA 1588
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 1380
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEIDN/DNI WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 000156 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA, DS/DSS/ITA, AND S/CT/ALLAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/16/2018
TAGS: PTER ASEC PGOV CASC PREL KISL KCRM IN
SUBJECT: UTTAR PRADESH: NEW TERRORIST HUB

REF: A. NEW DELHI 0030

B. 07 NEW DELHI 5158

NEW DELHI 00000156 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: POLCOUNS Ted Osius for Reasons 1.4 (B and D)

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 000156

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA, DS/DSS/ITA, AND S/CT/ALLAN

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/16/2018
TAGS: PTER ASEC PGOV CASC PREL KISL KCRM IN
SUBJECT: UTTAR PRADESH: NEW TERRORIST HUB

REF: A. NEW DELHI 0030

B. 07 NEW DELHI 5158

NEW DELHI 00000156 001.2 OF 002


Classified By: POLCOUNS Ted Osius for Reasons 1.4 (B and D)


1. (C) Summary: In the last eight weeks, terrorists struck
twice in Uttar Pradesh (UP) killing twenty-one people: seven
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) officers and fourteen
civilians (reftels). Analysts as well as Embassy contacts
fear that jihadi terrorists who have traditionally focused
the bulk ofQir activity on Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) may be
widening their focus to UP with the help of a small section
of local Indian Muslims. This is a new and deeply worrisome
trend for India's most populous state, which borders Delhi.
There are now established terrorist nodes within 75 miles of
this Embassy. End Summary.

Homegrown HuJI with Local Support
--------------


2. (C) Embassy contacts in UP are concerned that an Indian
branch of Harkat-ul-Jehad-e-Islami (HuJI) may be responsible
for both the November courthouse bombings in Lucknow,
Varanasi and Faizabad (Ref B) and the New Year's Day raid on
the CRPF base in Rampur (Ref A). Authorities claim to have
arrested five suspected HuJI men in connection with the
courthouse bombings.

Rampur: First Strike in Western UP
--------------


3. (C) As a UP Police officer noted in the press, "So far,
all major terror attacks have taken place in different cities
of eastern UP. Western UP had remained the area where they
took shelter and carried out indoctrination." The Indian
Express reports that Rampur's neighboring Amroha and
Moradabad districts (75 miles from Delhi) are considered to
be "the hideouts of terrorists."


4. (C) According to a CRPF officer, five battalions are
headquartered in Rampur, three of which are deployed in

Kashmir. The Kashmir connection may have provided the excuse
for the terrorists to target the base. The CRPF base also
houses one of the two Central Weapons Stores of the CRPF. It
provides arms and ammunition to the force throughout India.
Initial investigations suggest that after attacking a control
room and check post, the terrorists proceeded to the weapons
depot but were repulsed when CRPF members fired on them. The
media have not reported any accounts in which the terrorists
escaped with stolen weapons nor have Embassy contacts
suggested this.


5. (C) An Embassy journalist contact told Poloff the focus
on killing officers as opposed to securing more weapons
suggests a Muslim extremist attack as opposed to a Naxalite
assault. According to the contact, the CRPF has increased
its policing efforts throughout UP in recent weeks and the
terrorists, "wanted to make a point." The journalist, as
well as an Embassy political contact, relayed that the CRPF
officers had been drinking heavily at a New Year's party that
night, which helps explain their delayed response. The
guards protecting the armory side of the base were sober,
according to the journalist.

Terrorists Exploit Conservative Islam for Cover
-------------- --


6. (C) Moderate and tolerant Sufi and Barelvi Islam has
dominated the eastern UP districts of Gonda, Bahraich,
Shravasti, Basti, Siddarth Nagar, Mau, and Azamgarh for
centuries. Now the conservative Deobandi and Ahle Hadith
schools of Islam appear to be making inroads in these areas,
possibly creating a small pool of potential jihadi
sympathizers to facilitate terrorist operations in UP. The
recent Alami Ijtema in Azamgarh - an international gathering
of several hundred thousand Muslims sponsored by the
revivalist and Wahabi Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) - helped spread
the conservative views espoused by the TJ at the expense of
the region's traditional Sufi and Barelvi Islam. A large

NEW DELHI 00000156 002.2 OF 002


increase in the number of conservative Deobandi and Ahle
Hadith madrassas in the region could benefit extremist groups
seeking to recruit Indian Muslims and attack targets in UP
and elsewhere in India outside of J&K.


7. (C) The sentiment among informed sources, including
journalists, politicians, bureaucrats and law enforcement
officials suggests that Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
and HuJI are utilizing existing Students Islamic Movement of
India (SIMI) infrastructure in UP. An unnamed intelligence
analyst recently told The Hindu, "One (LeT) objective is to
provide infrastructure and support for the Islamist terror
groups springing up elsewhere in India."

State and Center Governments at a Loss
--------------


8. (C) A former CRPF Commandant who served in Kashmir
described CRPF authorities in Rampur as "guilty of being
lax." A general complaint exists within UP state
administrative circles that central government agencies,
including the Ministry of Home Affairs, have not extended the
coordination required to cope with the new realities of
terrorism in UP.


9. (C) Early reports of the Rampur attack speculated that
CRPF officers recruited from J&K could have aided the
attackers. The CRPF disputed these claims, but more recent
reports indicate that two CRPF officers are to be suspended.
Whether the suspension stems from suspicion of an inside job
or simply for lax security remains unclear.

UP Likely to be Hit Again
--------------


10. (C) Comment: In the two weeks since the Rampur attack,
authorities do not appear to be close to cracking the case.
Perhaps this represents further evidence of the depth of
roots terrorist organizations have established in UP, made
easier with what some observers consider to be the creeping
influence of intolerant Wahabi Islam. With assembly
elections in J&K later this year, the focus of violence may
shift away from UP. For now however, UP as well as Delhi law
enforcement remain on high alert, particularly with the
upcoming Republic Day ceremonies. End Comment.
MULFORD