Country Report on Terrorism 2019 - Chapter 5 - Indian Mujahedeen (IM)

Aka Indian Mujahedeen; Indian Mujahidin; Islamic Security Force-Indian Mujahideen (ISF-IM)

Description:  The Indian Mujahedeen (IM) was designated as an FTO on September 19, 2011.  The India-based terrorist group is responsible for dozens of bomb attacks throughout India since 2005 and has caused the deaths of hundreds of civilians.  IM maintains ties to other terrorist entities including ISIS and Pakistan-based Lashkar e-Tayyiba, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and Harakat ul-Jihad Islami.  IM’s stated goal is to carry out terrorist actions against Indians for their oppression of Muslims.

Activities:  IM is known for carrying out multiple coordinated bombings in crowded areas against economic and civilian targets to maximize terror and casualties.  In 2008, IM was responsible for 16 synchronized bomb blasts in crowded urban centers, including an attack in Delhi that killed 30 people and an attack at a local hospital in Ahmedabad that killed 38.  In 2010, IM bombed a popular German bakery frequented by tourists in Pune, India; 17 people were killed, and more than 60 people were injured in the attack.

In January 2015, the arrest of three IM militants linked the group to the December 2014 low‑intensity blast near a restaurant in Bangalore that killed one woman and injured three others.  The arrest also uncovered that the group planned to carry out attacks on India’s Republic Day and had provided explosives for attacks in other parts of the country.

In 2016, IM was increasingly linked to ISIS.  In May, six IM operatives were identified in an ISIS propaganda video threatening attacks on India.  A month later, it was reported that an IM cell linked to ISIS was plotting attacks on multiple targets in Hyderabad and had purchased chemicals to make high-grade explosives for the planned operations.  In September 2017, Indian law enforcement uncovered the plans of an IM militant in custody to conduct attacks in India, including targeted killings and bombing a temple in Gaya.  IM did not claim responsibility for any attacks in 2019.

Strength:  Precise numbers are unknown.

Location/Area of Operation:  India

Funding and External Aid:  IM is suspected to obtain funding and support from other terrorist organizations, as well as from sources in Pakistan and the Middle East.