The most recent devastating terrorist attack this week in Mumbai is likely linked to a banned organization known as the Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). SIMI, formed in the late 1970’s, lasted approximately thirty years before it was officially banned in India immediately following the horrific 9-11 attacks on the United States. This organization initiated as a student movement but later led to something much greater.
With time, the Student Islamic Movement of India transpired to more than just a bunch of punk college kids forming an ideological Islamist program. Soon after its establishment, SIMI became a violent terrorist organization. Numerous terrorists’ attacks have occurred in India because of SIMI long after their disbandment.
The Student Islamic Movement of India was founded by an intelligent radical named Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi on the campus of Aligarh Muslim University, India. Mohammad Ahmadullah Siddiqi has been a Professor of Journalism and Public Relations at Western Illinois University Macomb, Illinois since 1987. Dr. Siddiqi also serves as Honorary Vice President of the American Islamic College Chicago and is a member of the College’s Board of Directors.
It is likely that Siddiqi knew the country of India would eventually ban his organization with time–one reason he probably left his home of origin. His intelligence shines today as he understood the importance of “compartmentalization” practices.
Through compartmentalizing SIMI, Siddiqi was capable of ensuring his organization would remain alive and well long after government disbandment. He assisted in establishing numerous splinter groups as well as aligned SIMI with pre-existing organizations. Siddiqi’s envision has succeeded today. When attacks occur throughout India, authorities become disgruntled as difficulty in pointing fingers to exactly who conducted the attacks, like this most recent Mumbai incident, becomes nearly impossible.
What appears impossible is not; difficult, yes, but impossible, no. Knowing that organizational compartmentalization has been a technique used by numerous terrorist organizations is nothing new. Names of organizations change as quickly as these terrorist organizations themselves come and go.
India is now investigating numerous terrorist outfits like Lakshar-e-Taiba, India Mujahedeen, and even Pakistani Taliban–all Deobandi Sunni Muslim extremists. Don’t be surprised though if a new organization or one rarely heard of becomes headline news in the near future because of this recent Mumbai incident. Many more terrorist supporting entities exist inside India like Jamaat-e-Islami Hind–a so called “peaceful political movement” pushing to see India eventually become an internationally recognized Muslim state.
Hopefully, readers can observe something of grave importance in this writing (besides my lack of writing skills). Terrorist organizational names mean very little. For the most part, who specifically conducts a terrorist attack matters very little. What truly matters is the fact that these splinter groups are umbrella organizations aligned in one large network. Sure, it is likely that LeT assisted the Indian Mujahedeen this week in Mumbai. But, these two entities are really offshoot organizations to one grand scheme.
Take this lesson in terrorism compartmentalization to heart. The United States has numerous organizations running around freely to include some working directly alongside our own government. Organizations like the Muslim Student Association, World Assembly for Muslim Youth, Council on American Islamic Relations, and many more comprise of one large compartmentalized terrorist network operating right here inside the United States. The difference between those organizations in India and those operating here inside the USA is one thing and one thing only–the sect of Sunni Islam which they follow.
India is dominated by Deobandi Sunni Islam. Deobandi followers are extremely close to the Wahhabists. Both sects are willing to work closely with one another ensuring their desired world Sunni Caliphate transpires with time. While the United States does not have a known Deobandi entity belonging to the Student Islamic Movement of India operating within our borders, excluding Dr. Sadiqqi of course, we do have plenty of Wahhabi organizations who have infiltrated our nation. These Islamic student associations are dangerous and capable of executing terrorist attacks like that witnessed Wednesday evening in India.
The country of India has shut down the Student Islamic Movement of India yet they still fight on today–they were shut down too late. It is unlikely that the United States will ever shut down similar organizations unless proven illegal operations exist within– will such a move come too late though? If these Islamic student associations inside the United States operate in any fashion similarly to SIMI, you know the answer.
Kerry Patton is the Co-Founder of the National Security Leadership Foundation, a non-profit organization pending 501c (3) status. He has worked in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Europe, focusing on intelligence and security interviewing current and former terrorists, including members of the Taliban. He is the author of “Sociocultural Intelligence: The New Discipline of Intelligence Studies” and the children’s book “American Patriotism.” You can follow him on Facebook.