One Poor Terrorist: 55 Dead = $3000 USD

Ideas and Issues International

One Poor Terrorist:  55 Dead = $3000 USD
            New Orleans               This is a sensitive report written on the background and situation on the one remaining Mumbai terrorist captured alive and the pieces of his story, as a poor, young man (21 years old) from Pakistan.  This was published in the Hindu based in Chennai.  The figure of 1.5 lakh rupees at the end of the story that he was promised for his role converts to $3000 USD.  If his share of the killing at the train station was about half, then each death would have been cashed out at little more than $100 USD. 
A journey into the Lashkar
Praveen Swami
 Iman’s story shows it preys on the most vulnerable poor
MUMBAI: It is improbable that Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman’s family has seen
the photograph that has made his face known across the world.

Hours before he began firing at commuters waiting at Mumbai’s Chhatrapati
Shivaji Terminus (CST) last week, Iman, one of ten Lashkar-e-Taiba
terrorists, was caught on closed-circuit camera.
 After he and his partner, Mohammad Ismail, had killed 55 commuters at CST
and three senior police officers, including Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism
Chief Hemant Karkare, Iman was injured and captured — and the story he has
since been telling Mumbai police investigators casts new light on how the
feared terror group preys on the most vulnerable in Pakistani society to
further its agenda of hate.
 The man in the photo was born on July 13, 1987 at Faridkot village in
Dipalpur tehsil of Okara district in Pakistan’s Punjab province. His
family belongs to the underprivileged Qasai caste. His father, Mohammad
Amir Iman, runs a dahi-puri snack cart. His mother, Noori Tai, is a
 Iman is the third of the family’s five children. His 25-year-old brother,
Afzal, lives near the Yadgar Minar in Lahore. His sister, Rukaiyya Husain,
22, is married locally. Iman’s younger siblings, 14-year-old Suraiyya and
11-year-old Munir, live at home.
 Iman’s desperately poor family could not afford to keep their second son,
an indifferent student, at the Government Primary School in Faridkot past
the fourth grade. He was pulled out of school in 2000, at the age of 13,
and went to live with his older brother in Lahore. Afzal, who lives in a
tenement near the Yadgar Minar in Lahore, eked out a living on a
labourer’s wages, and could barely afford to look after his brother. For
the next several years, Iman shuttled between the homes of his brother and
After a row with his parents in 2005, Iman left home, determined never to
return. No longer welcome in Afzal’s home, he stayed at the shrine of the
saint Syed Ali Hajveri until he could pick up some work. He began working
as a labourer and by 2007 his work brought in Rs. 200 a day. Iman,
however, found the work degrading. He soon began spending time with
small-time criminals in Lahore. Along with a friend, a one-time Attock
resident named Muzaffar Lal Khan, Iman decided to launch a new career in
armed robbery.
 On Bakr Eid day in 2007, Iman has told the Mumbai Police, the two men made
their way to the Raja bazaar in Rawalpindi, hoping to purchase weapons. In
the market, they saw activists for the Jamaat-ud-Dawa — the parent
political organisation of the Lashkar-e-Taiba — handing out pamphlets and
posters about the organisation and its activities. After a discussion
lasting a few minutes, Iman claims, both men decided to join — not because
of their Islamist convictions but in the hope that the jihad training they
would receive would further their future life in crime.
 A life in Lashkar

But at the Lashkar’s base camp, Markaz Taiba, Iman’s world view began to
change. Films on India’s purported atrocities in Kashmir, and fiery
lectures by preachers, including Lashkar chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, led
him to believe that the Lashkar’s cause — the greater glory of Islam, as
the organisation presented it — was worth giving his life to. It is
possible, an official involved in the interrogation suggested, that the
atmosphere of the camp gave him the sense of family he had lacked for much
of his life.
When he returned home for a two-month break after his indoctrination at
the Lashkar base camp, he found a respectability within his community and
family that had eluded him most of his life. Where Iman had earlier been
seen as a burden, he was now self-sufficient — and bore the halo of
religious piety.
Later that year, Iman was chosen for the Lashkar’s basic combat course,
the Daura Aam. He performed well and was among a small group of 32 men
selected to undergo advanced training at a camp near Manshera, a course
the organisation calls the Daura Khaas. Finally, he was among an even
smaller group selected for specialised marine commando and navigation
training given to the fidayeen unit selected to target Mumbai. 
According to Iman, Lashkar military commander Zaki-ur-Rahman Lakhvi
promised that his family would be rewarded with Rs. 1.5 lakh for his

Last remaining terrorist from Mumbai attacks