The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has busted an ISIS-linked terror module with the arrest of three persons following overnight raids at 13 locations in Jabalpur during an intelligence-led join operation executed in coordination with the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Madhya Pradesh Police.
The searches were carried out on the night of May 26-27. The arrested accused have been identified as Syed Mamoor Ali, Mohammad Adil Khan and Mohammad Shahid. Several sharp-edged weapons, ammunition, incriminating documents and digital devices were seized.
On May 24, the NIA had registered a case as part of its investigations into the pro-ISIS activities of accused Adil Khan, who came under the agency’s scanner in August 2022. The agency found that Mr. Khan and his associates were allegedly involved in disseminating ISIS propaganda through social media platforms. They also held “dawah” programmes. “The module had been conducting meetings/ “dars” in local masjids and houses and hatching plans and conspiracies to spread terror in the country,” the NIA said in a statement on Saturday.
According to the agency, the three accused were highly radicalised and were determined to carry out “violent jihad”. “They were engaged in collecting funds, disseminating ISIS propaganda material, motivating and recruiting youth, and trying to procure arms and ammunition with the objective of carrying out terrorist acts,” it said.
Accused Mamoor Ali had created a local group or “tanzeem” by the name of “Fisabilillah” and was also operating a WhatsApp group by the same name. “Along with his associates, he was trying to procure pistols and was in contact with a Jabalpur-based illegal arms supplier for this purpose,” the NIA said.
“A staunch ISIS follower and supporter, Adil had managed to assemble an active group of Jabalpur-based like-minded radicalised individuals. Some of the module members were already contemplating ‘hijrat’ (flight) to conflict theatres, while others had plans to form a local outfit for carrying out violent ‘jihad’ in India...,” the agency said.
The accused Mr. Khan was also allegedly running multiple YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp channels for motivating and recruiting youth into the ISIS’ fold. “Investigations further showed that Shahid had also planned to procure weapons, including pistols, IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devices] and even grenades for violent attacks in India,” the NIA said.