NIA busts major ISIS module in Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala

Two from Valley among 4 arrested

Banking channels, digital methods used for funding

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Aug 4: The National Investigation Agency today arrested four people as it conducted simultaneous searches in Jammu and Kashmir and Karnataka in connection with terror activities of a group propagating the violent ideology of the ISIS, an official said.
An NIA spokesperson said the searches were carried out along with local police units at five locations — three in Kashmir and one each in Bengaluru and Mangalore.
The arrested accused have been identified as Obaid Hamid of Srinagar, Muzammil Hassan Bhat of Bandipora; Ammar Abdul Rahman of Mangalore and Shankar Venkatesh Perumal of Bengaluru, he said.
The case pertains to terrorist activities of a group led by one Mohammed Ameen of Kerala, the official said.
He said three people — Ameen and his associates Mushab Anuvar and Rahees Rashid — were arrested in March after preliminary examination.
The group has been running various ISIS propaganda channels on different social media platforms such as Telegram, Hoop and Instagram for propagating the violent Jihadi ideology, and radicalising and recruiting new members to the terror module, the NIA official said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had registered a case against seven known and other unnamed persons under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on March 5, 2021.
The NIA official said the group of radicalised individuals, under the leadership of Ameen, and having pledged allegiance to the proscribed terrorist organisation ISIS had identified certain people in Kerala and Karnataka for targeted killing.
After the decline of ISIS Caliphate in Syria/Iraq, Ameen visited Kashmir in March, 2020 for ‘Hijrah’ (religious migration) and for engaging in terrorist acts. He had also raised funds in association with Kashmir-based accused — Mohammad Waqar Lone and his associates, the official said.
As part of the conspiracy, funds were also transferred to Lone by the accused in the case through banking channels and digital payment methods on the directions of Ameen, the official said.
Ameen and his associates were also radicalising gullible Muslim youths for joining Jihad and unlawful activities in India, and had been successful in expanding the network in Kashmir and part of Kerala and Karnataka, the NIA official said.
The searches on Wednesday were conducted at the premises of the accused/suspects who were continuously in touch with Ameen and his associates through various groups/channels on encrypted chat platforms and had raised funds for furtherance of activities of ISIS, he said.
During searches, several digital devices, including laptops, mobile phones, hard disk drives, pen drives, multiple SIM cards of different service providers and incriminating documents were seized, the official said.
The four people arrested on Wednesday were involved in raising funds, and radicalising and motivating more people to join ISIS, he said, adding that further investigation in the case is on.
Meanwhile, the NIA today carried out raids and detained a man for questioning in a case pertaining to terror connection in north Kashmir district of Bandipora.
Official sources said sleuths of NIA, assisted by police and CRPF, raided two residential houses in Chittibanday in Bandipora on Wednesday.
During the raid, the owner of one of the residences, identified as Muzamil Ahmad Bhat, was detailed for questioning, they said, adding the accused works as a salesman in a hardware store.
They said the other residence searched by the NIA is of one Waqar Ahmad Lone, who remained under judicial custody in a case registered under various sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in Bandipora.
They said Waqar was accused of working as Over Ground Worker (OGW) for militants.
No recovery has been made by NIA so far from these residences, they added.

NIA charge sheets 6 LeM militants
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today filed a chargesheet against six terrorists of Lashkar-e-Mustafa (LeM) outfit, a frontal organisation of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), who were planning attacks in Jammu and Kashmir and other parts of the country.
Those chargesheeted include self-styled chief commander of the LeM, Hidayat Ullah Malik, and a woman, Baseerat-ul-Ain, both residents of Shopian in South Kashmir, and Mustaq Alam and his brother Jawed Alam of Deobahuara-Chhapra in Bihar, an NIA spokesperson said.
Others named in the chargesheet are Jan Mohd Teeli of Anantnag and Mudabir Manzoor of Shopian. Malik, who was arrested from Kunjwani area of Jammu on February 6, had formed LeM in August last year.
The NIA said the case was initially registered at Gangyal Police Station in Jammu relating to conspiracy by the LeM, working at the behest of the JeM, to carry out terrorist activities in Jammu and Kashmir with an intention to threaten sovereignty, integrity and security of India.
The NIA re-registered the case on March 2 and took over its investigation.
“The investigation has revealed that Malik was the commander in chief of terrorist outfit LeM and he, along with his co-conspirators, was planning terrorist acts in various parts of India. The newly floated terror outfit (LeM) is an off-shoot of proscribed terror organisation JeM,” the spokesperson said.
The NIA said the LeM was tactically formed to evade scrutiny of forces and ease international pressure on the JeM after the attack on CRPF convoy in Pulwama on February 14, 2019, which left over 40 jawans dead.
“The probe has further revealed that the accused led by Malik had also committed a daylight bank robbery amounting to Rs 60 lakh at J&K Bank, Main Branch Shopian in November 2020.
“The looted money was used by LeM terrorists for procuring weapons from Kashmir and Bihar. Malik had also done reconnaissance of many security installations in Jammu and Delhi and was in constant touch with his JeM handlers in Pakistan,” the spokesperson said.