New Delhi: Fourteen youths arrested recently by NIA for allegedly planning to carry out attacks ahead of Republic Day were in touch with an handler who was earlier with Indian Mujahideen and now maintains strong links with terror group ISIS.
Official sources said these 14 men were in constant touch with each other since this month and were taking instructions from Safi Armar alias Yusuf, a former member of the Indian Mujahideen and believed to have strong links with ISIS.
They said the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will soon approach its foreign counterparts in order to locate the Internet servers used by these men while chatting and collect evidence in this regard.
The sources said they were also in touch with some people who were nabbed by Delhi Police from Uttarakhand’s Roorkee and the four youths who had disappeared sometime ago from Malwani, Mulund and Malad areas of Maharashtra. While two returned, the other two had joined ISIS. These 14 were in touch with the other two people also, they claimed.
NIA has arrested 14 people belonging to ‘Janood-ul-Khalifa -e-Hind’ (Army of Caliph of India), the Indian wing of IS, who were picked up from various parts of the country for allegedly planning to carry out strikes at important installations.
The agency claimed that the accused were regularly in touch with active members of ISIS in Syria through Internet chatting via Skype, Signal and Trillion and were also using the social networking sites to motivate young men to join the feared terror outfit which has captured vast swathes in Syria and Iraq.
Those arrested included Mudabbir Mushtaq Shaikh, the self- styled ‘Ameer’ of group. 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, the sources said. Shaikh, who assumed the title of ‘Ameer’, supposedly under instructions from Baghdadi himself, was active on some of the social networking sites.
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.
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.
All 14 were instructed to keep on changing their email ids regularly also, they said.