National Investigation Agency reported that ISIS has initiated plans to carry out terror attacks in India

For the first time an Indian agency has said on record that the Islamic State (ISIS) has designs on India and that its four recruits from Mumbai’s suburb Kalyan planned to carry out attacks in the country as well. It has also hinted that the self-appointed Caliphate may have developed links with anti-India terror outfits.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) which filed a chargesheet against ISIS recruit Kalyan youth Areeb Majeed on Wednesday has said in the documents filed with the court that the terrorist outfit with help from some other terror organisations planned to recruit from India and among NRIs to carry out attacks not just in Iraq and Syria but also in India and other countries.

The chargesheet, while detailing how the four youths travelled to Iraq on the pretext of pilgrimage and then disappeared to join ISIS in Syria, says: “After joining ISIL (ISIS), all four persons underwent the basic training for handling of weapons and fire arms and were actively involved in terrorist acts in Iraq and Syria. The input received further indicated that ISIL, in conspiracy with certain other terrorist organisations, was keen not only on resident Indian citizens joining the outfit but was also trying to recruit non-resident Indians settled abroad for participating in the so-called holy Jihad not only in Iraq and Syria but also in India and other countries.”

Until now both the government, including home minister Rajnath Singh, and intelligence agencies played down the threat from ISIS saying India was not on its immediate target and that there was no traction for its ideology in the country. Hardnosed intelligence analysts felt that the confidence was rooted more in political correctness. NIA chargesheet appears to validate their worst fears.

The chargesheet goes on to mention the threat twice. Naming the four—Majeed, Fahad Sheikh, Aman Tandel and Shaheem Tanki—the chargesheet says, “(The four) entered into a criminal conspiracy between January 2014 to November 2014 with the common objective and intention to join Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), a banned International Terrorist Organization and participate in terrorist acts not only in Iraq and Syria but also in India amongst other countries.”

Detailing how a full-fledged network existed to help willing Muslim youths reach Syria to join ISIS, the chargesheet details various names, including that of two women Tahira Bhatt and Abu Fatima, who helped the youths at various stages to reach Syria. “In this connection (to join ISIS), Majeed tried to contact people from different countries like Australia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, America, who all guided him to reach Turkey and contact them thereafter. Prominent amongst them were Abu Rami from Iraq and Abu Falluja from Turkey,” the chargesheet says.

Other prominent names that the chargesheet mentions as part of the network that helps recruits reach Syria are that of Afghan national Rahman Dawlaty and one Kuwati national, Abdulla Hadi Abdul Rehman Alenezi, who gave $1000 to the four youths in Iraq to help them reach Syria.

One Ali, sympathiser of ISIL, ferried them to Mosul. It was Rahman Dawlaty, Tahirah Bhatt and Abu Fatima that the youths contacted for arranging “Tazkiya” (recommendation for joining ISIL).

After ISIL captured Iraq-Syria border, the youths were taken by Abu Muhammed Iraqi, the then Aameer of Iraq and Syria to Hudood Centre (registration centre of ISIL where persons joining from outside Syria have to be registered) in Raqqah City of Syria. It was from here that the youths began their terror activities.

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Sasha Perkins

Administrative Assistant and Journalist at the Pluto Daily since 2012.