NIA may have traced IS India kingpin

Last Updated 30 May 2016, 18:59 IST

In its investigation into the October 2014 blast at Burdwan’s Khagragarh, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) could have stumbled upon the mastermind behind Islamic State (IS) operations in India. 

A 25-year-old from Bengal could be the key to Indian activities of the ultra hard-line Islamic organisation, which has declared itself an independent “Caliphate”.

Even though the agency is keeping the details close to its chest, sources said that investigators are focusing on Enamul Mollah, a youth hailing from South 24 Parganas here. He is one of the 30 persons named in the chargesheet to the blast case, which took place at a house in Khagragarh of Burdwan district in Bengal on October 2, 2014.

The NIA recently submitted its third supplementary chargesheet to the case, naming Mollah among others. During the course of its investigation, NIA stumbled upon some interesting facts about Mollah. The investigators believe, as an active member of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JuMB), he organised number of pro-IS programmes at Burdwan even before the blast.

While there are reasons to believe JuMB has been a spent force for the last few years following a country-wide crackdown by the Bangladesh government, Mollah and a few others have been using existing JuMB network for their pro-activities. “Enamul started at a young age and by the time the Khagragarh blast took place, he was a hardcore fundamentalist,” a source said.

Sources informed that Mollah used to work on behalf of home-grown terror groups like Indian Mujahideen, working as a conduit in Bengal to spread propaganda, organise events, recruit and train cadres in the idea of “Jihad”.

 NIA digital experts have concluded that he used job portals and other social media outlets to look for recruits. 

“He also helped smuggle in fake Indian currency notes from Bangladesh, which was used to keep the organisation afloat,” a source said. In its recent chargesheet, the NIA pointed out that of the 30 persons named, 20 have been arrested but 10 others are absconding, of who six are believed to be in Bangladesh. “The NIA has sufficiently established that Mollah was involved in harbouring these absconders. He has been in constant touch with key accused, Maulana Yusuf and Abul Kalam.”He not only arranged hideouts but also assisted them in recruiting new members, sources said. “Enamul arranged for a radicalisation programme and circulated Jihad-related material,” a source said. 

(Published 30 May 2016, 18:59 IST)

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