Gujarat ATS busts terror module linked to Islamic State

Three men and a woman allegedly linked to international terror outfit arrested in Porbandar and Surat; they were trying to make their way to Afghanistan, police said

June 10, 2023 12:01 pm | Updated June 11, 2023 08:22 am IST - Ahmedabad

Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad personnel with the three men and woman arrested from Porbandar and Surat during an operation that busted an Islamic State module on June 10, 2023.

Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad personnel with the three men and woman arrested from Porbandar and Surat during an operation that busted an Islamic State module on June 10, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

Gujarat’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested four persons allegedly linked to international terror outfit Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP) in Porbandar and Surat on Saturday.

Those arrested include three persons from Kashmir and one woman from Surat while another resident of Kashmir is said to be at large.

The three men from Srinagar who were arrested in Porbandar have been identified as Ubed Nasir Mir, Hanan Hayat Shol and Mohammad Hajim Shah.

The woman arrested in Surat is Sumerabanu Hanif Malek, the police said.

A fifth person, who is part of the module and still to be found, has been identified as Zuber Ahmed Munshi.

“The Gujarat Police have busted a major terror module and arrested people linked with the Islamic State,” Gujarat’s Minister of State for Home Harsh Sanghavi told reporters after the ATS operation.

“Acting on a tip-off, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested three men from Porbandar and a woman from Surat city and seized from them ‘incriminating’ materials that showed their association with the banned terrorist organisation,” said Director General of Police (DGP) Vikas Sahay.

Mr. Sahay added that a first information report (FIR) has been registered against the four under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and efforts are on to nab the man who is still at large.

The ISKP is a transnational Salafi-jihadist organisation and a UN-designated terrorist organisation.

“The three men were planning to use a fishing boat from Porbandar to cross the International Maritime Boundary Line and reach Afghanistan via Iran and join ISKP,” Mr. Sahay said.

“They were directed by their handler Abu Hamza to reach Porbandar and join a fishing boat as fishermen and tell the boat captain to reach the given GPS coordinates mid-sea and from there they were to be taken to Iran on a dhow (a boat) and provided with fake passports for Afghanistan and finally reach Khorasan via Herat,” he added.

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During preliminary interrogation, those arrested revealed that they were trained and radicalised by Pakistan-based Abu Hamza, the police said.

The officials of the ATS and the DGP stated that the alleged terrorists wanted to fight for the Islamic State in Afghanistan.

The DGP said that several documents related to their personal identities, mobile phones, tablets and weapons were recovered from the men arrested in Porbandar.

In a press release, the ATS claimed that when the cloud storage of the accused was accessed, their photographs with the ISKP banner, videos of a leader giving them the pledge of allegiance, audio clips of their leader and other incriminating files were recovered.

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