Two IS men arrested in Gujarat

Two IS men arrested in Gujarat

The Gujarat ATS on Sunday arrested two brothers with suspected IS links who hatched plans to conduct lone-wolf attacks in the state.

Wasim Ramodiya and Naeem, who hold MCA and BCA degrees respectively, were in contact with IS handlers and were planning to target the Chotila temple and other religious places in Gujarat, the police said, adding they had recovered bomb-making material and jihadi literature.

Based on a specific information about their activities “inspired by the jihadi ideology of IS”, Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) officials nabbed Wasim from Rajkot and his younger brother Naeem from Bhavnagar during an early morning operation, said an official.

“We had been keeping a close watch on them since last three months as they were found to be in contact with IS in Iraq and Syria through Skype and other social media platforms like Telegram, Twitter and Whatsapp. We conducted raids in Rajkot and Bhavnagar and nabbed the duo,” Inspector General of Gujarat ATS J K Bhatt told reporters in Ahmedabad on Sunday. ACP B S Chavda said to create terror, the duo planned to record and upload the video of the attack on social media.

The two brothers were indoctrinated in jihadi philosophy during the last two years after coming in contact with ISIS literature online, Chavda  said. They were also in touch with IS preacher Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency in February 2016, he said. “They were in the process of making an improvised bomb to carry out lone-wolf style attacks,” he said.

Arif Ramodiya, the father of the suspects, claimed that he did not have any knowledge about these activities. According to him, Wasim used to work at a Rajkot-based graphic designing firm, while Naeem used to work with a ship recycling unit in Bhavnagar.

“I came to know about my sons’ activities only after the police raided my residence and arrested Wasim. No one from my family knew about it. This is really shameful for me. It has ruined my reputation,” Arif said.

In his interaction with the media, IG Bhatt said the two were held just in time, as they had hatched a plan to carry out bomb blasts at some religious places soon.“They had planned to escape to either Iraq or Syria after carrying out attacks here,” he said.

They two brothers have been charged under IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Explosive Substances Act. They are likely to be produced at a local court in Rajkot on Monday for transit remand.

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