Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad arrests four alleged IS terrorists from Ahmedabad airport

All four are Sri Lankan nationals, as per the sources from the police. They were nabbed by the police from the airport where they were waiting for their handler.

Updated - May 20, 2024 10:14 pm IST

Published - May 20, 2024 03:46 pm IST - AHMEDABAD

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

Gujarat’s Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) on May 20 arrested four Sri Lankans with alleged links to the banned outfit Islamic State (IS) who were allegedly on a mission to carry out terror activities in India.

Acting on a tip-off, the ATS officials arrested the accused at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel airport in Ahmedabad after they travelled from Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo via Chennai on Sunday night.

The men travelled to India to carry out terror activities at the behest of IS, Director General of Police Vikas Sahay told media persons in the briefing.

With their arrests, the ATS team also recovered three Pakistan-made pistols and 20 cartridges lying abandoned at a location in the city’s Nana Chiloda area based on geo-coordinates and photographs found on the mobile phone seized from the accused.

The state Police chief claimed that the accused were directed by their Pakistani handler to collect these weapons.

The accused are Mohammad Nusrat (35), Mohammad Faarukh (35), Mohammad Nafran (27) and Mohammad Rasdeen (43). They took a flight from Colombo and reached Chennai in the wee hours of Sunday and from there they landed in Ahmedabad in another flight.

According to the Police, the accused revealed in their interrogation that they were earlier associated with the banned Sri Lankan radical militant outfit, National Thowheeth Jamath (NJT), and joined IS after getting in touch with Pakistani handler Abu Bakr Al Bagdadi.

“They were radicalised by a Sri Lankan national who is now based in Pakistan,” Mr Sahay said.

“They got in touch with Abu (the IS leader in Pakistan) in February this year and remained in contact with him through social media and were completely radicalised by the ideology,” the DGP added.

“Their leader ordered them to carry out terrorist activities in India, to which they agreed, and even showed readiness to carry out suicide bombings,” Mr Sahay said.

The Police have found that the four men were paid ₹4 lakh in Sri Lankan currency to carry out the activities.

The mobile phones recovered from the accused had photographs and documents showing their association with IS, and an IS flag was also recovered from their bag, and two such flags were recovered from the abandoned parcel containing weapons.

The Police in Gujarat used a translator during interrogation as the accused understood only Tamil.

The men were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Indian Penal Code and Arms Act.

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