IS-linked terror group was in touch with men close to Baghdadi

IS-linked terror group was in touch with men close to Baghdadi

IS-linked terror group was in touch with men close to Baghdadi

The recently busted pan-India terror module was in "constant touch" with people perceived to be close to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the feared leader of the Islamic State, receiving instructions for carrying out explosions at important places ahead of the Republic day.

The NIA and other central security agencies arrested 14 people on Friday and Saturday for allegedly planning to carry out attacks ahead of Republic Day.

Those arrested included Mudabbir Mushtaq Shaikh, the self-styled 'Ameer' of 'Janood-ul-Khalifa-e-Hind' (Army of Caliph of India), the Indian wing of ISIS. He was the man behind raising the outfit after earlier attempts by the global terror organisation to set up its base in the sub-continent failed, official sources said.

Shaikh, who assumed the title of 'Ameer', supposedly under instructions from Baghdadi himself, was active on some of the social networking sites. Manager, product development, for a sports company, he was under surveillance of intelligence agencies for several months and was tracked down after he received money routed out of Turkey and Syria.

The idea behind setting up the terror group in India was to extend Baghdadi's fearsome 'Caliphate', sources said, adding his custodial interrogation may help the security agencies unravel the plans of the organisation.

Within a short span the group established a complete chain of command with Shaikh being the Ameer, while Rizwan Ali, a resident of Kushi Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, was its Naib-Ameer (deputy Chief). Mangalore resident Najmul Huda was appointed 'Ameer-e-Askari' (batallion commander) and Mohammed Nafees Khan of Bihar, who was  arrested from Hyderabad, was the group's 'Ameer-e-Wyulat' (head of finance), sources said.

The NIA had registered a case in 2015 after "credible information" was received that the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), also known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Dawlah-al Islamiyah fil-Iraq wa-sh Sham (DAISH), has been engaged in radicalising Indian youth and motivating them to join the terrorist organisation. 

Due to this, "some Indian nationals have already joined it or are in the process of joining it for committing terrorist acts in the conflict zone of Iraq, Syria and Libya. The ISIL is also contemplating to expand its activities to other parts of the world including India," the NIA FIR said.

The arrests were made in connection with the ongoing investigation in this case following simultaneous searches and raids at 12 locations in six cities--Bangalore, Tumkur, Mangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Lucknow on Friday with the support of local police.

14 people, aged between 20 and 53 years, were picked up after they had purchased explosive material, electronic circuits used for fabricating Improvised Explosive Devices, acid and nut and bolts, used as splinters in bombs, sources said.

They had purchased over 42 mobile phones with SIM cards which they were planning to use as triggering mechanism for detonating IEDs.

The group was aiming at spreading its activities in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Uttrakhand, Assam and Karnataka, sources said.

During the last eight months, members of the group had visited some places in the country and photographed important installations, sources said without disclosing the details.

Two of these suspected terrorists were today produced before a designated NIA court in Delhi which remanded them in the custody of the central terror probe agency for 13 days.

Hyderabad residents Abu Anas and Nafees Khan, both aged 24 years, were produced before special judge at Patiala House courts and their custody handed over to the NIA, sources in the agency said.