The youths arrested on the charge of links with ISIS, a banned organisation, had executed a trial blast on the bank of Tunga river in Shivamogga, said Shivamogga Superintendent of Police B.M. Laxmi Prasad.
Addressing mediapersons in Shivamogga on September 23, the officer said that the accused had manufactured a bomb using locally available material. They had learnt bomb-making by studying material shared by ISIS on their channel in a messenger application. “The accused profess the ideology of Islamic State. They were of the view that India got independence merely from the British. But the real independence would be achieved only after establishing a caliphate and enforcing Sharia law,” the officer said.
The police, during the investigation, located the site of the trial blast and picked up remnants from the spot. “The remnants were recovered with the help of the FSL team. We have found sulphur and phosphorus, which worked as detonators. The material will undergo chemical analysis,” he said.
Shivamogga police arrested Syed Yasin of Shivamogga and Maz Muneer Ahmed of Mangaluru on September 19 on the charge of having links with ISIS. They are in police custody. Another accused Shariq is absconding, but a car belonged to him has been seized.
The officer said that the accused are members of the ISIS channel – Al Hayat – run on Telegram, a messenger application. “They were members of the channel, which was only for one-way communication. So far, there is no information on a direct link with the banned organisation,” he said
Yasin, who did a course in electrical engineering, had knowledge of relay circuits. He had procured a gadget through an online store, and procured a battery, wire and other material locally. “They did execute a low-intensity blast with a radius of three feet on an experimental basis. They had planned to conduct multiple such trials before taking up a bigger plan. They wanted to attack non-believers (kafirs) through jihad. We caught them before they could go ahead with the plan,” the officer said.
The officer said Sharik, who was an accused in the objectionable graffiti case reported in Mangaluru in 2020, had radicalised Syed Yasin and Muneer Ahmed, and introduced them to ISIS. “We came to know about Shariq’s role soon after the clashes in Shivamogga on August 15. Zabiulla, who was accused in the stabbing case, was also radicalized by Shariq,” he said.
Syed Yasin and Muneer Ahmed had known each other since their PU days. They had travelled to Mangaluru then, and had come in contact with Shariq. “We are also looking into financial transactions among them. As of now, we learnt that the financial exchange among them happened through crypto currency,” the SP said.
The police searched 11 places, including residences of the accused, the residences of their relatives, and a few public places. The investigation team seized 14 mobile phones, one dongle, two laptops, one pen drive and a few other electronic gadgets.
The police officer said the accused had also burnt the national flag at the place where they had carried out the trial blast. “They had burnt the flag and video recorded the act. We have found the video clip,” he said.