Indian intelligence agencies have intercepted details of financial transactions that indicate a possible attack by a Malaysia-based Rohingya outfit may be in the offing in India.
“There is good reason to believe that a module of this new terror outfit has received a lot of money from Malaysia through hawala channels. They may be in an advanced stage of orchestrating a terror strike in that country by a group led by a woman,” said a senior external intelligence officer.
He said the terror group is possibly linked to controversial Indian preacher Zakir Naik, who has been given permanent residence in Malaysia, after Delhi refused to allow him to return to India.
Naik has been wanted by Indian authorities since 2016 on charges of money laundering and inciting extremism through hate speeches.
Tens of thousands of Rohingyas live in Malaysia, many of whom having reached there after dangerous sea voyages from the makeshift Rohingya camps in Bangladesh in leaky boats.
So many of them get drowned during such voyages.
The external intelligence officer told Northeast Now that the Rohingya outfit, formed recently in Malaysia and reportedly carrying the name Tehreek-E-Watan, has close links with Kuwait-based Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS).
The RIHS has funded many Salafist Islamist terror cells across Asia.
The officer said the first input was that this group was planning terror attack on Bodh Gaya and other Buddhist sites visited by Burmese pilgrims.
“This could happen within the next two or three weeks,” he said.
He said the Rohingya group was also planning trouble on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to foil Dhaka’s plans to send back Rohingya refugees to Rakhine province.
The intelligence establishment had alerted the police and state intelligence bureaus of Delhi, Haryana, UP, Bihar and West Bengal to step up surveillance last week.
The likely targets mentioned were Ayodhya, Bodhgaya, Srinagar and in Punjab.
An intelligence document stated that a slew of suspicious India-centric transactions to the tune of more than RM 820,000 (15 million Indian rupees) had been tracked to a Kuala Lumpur-based Rohingya leader and others.
The report stated that a Chennai-based suspect, probably a hawala dealer (currency exchange middlemen), had received part of this money.
Police believe the group was to infiltrate India in mid or end of December through Bangladesh and Northeast India.
The woman leader was supposedly trained in Myanmar and it is suspected that she was sent to Myanmar from Malaysia early this year, a source said.
Police are keeping a close watch on the Popular Front of India which may extend support to the group for logistics.
The intelligence sources said they were trying to figure out if a Rohingya militant group, Tehreek-E-Watan which came under the radar last year for raising funds for Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, was involved in the current set of transfers.