IS Recruits Discussed Corona Jihad, Attacks On RSS, Riots: NIA

By Amiya Kumar Kushwaha & Sushil Batra

Corona Jihad, carrying out lone-wolf attacks, targetted killing of persons related to the RSS to hurt religious sentiments which may lead to riots, and targetting important leaders by using anaesthesia injection were among the plans in the discussion of alleged Islamic State members, said the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The NIA made the submissions in a chargesheet filed against five alleged operatives of the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) accusing them of using the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA)to instigate Muslims against the Indian government.

“The investigation established that the accused Sadiya and one Doctor Ishfaq had also discussed about ‘Corona Jihad’ and desired that Corona pandemic should be used to destroy country, which shows her anti-national mentality,” the NIA said in its chargesheet filed before a local court here in September this year.

The chargesheet named a Kashmiri couple, Jahanzaib Sami and Hina Bashir Beigh, Hyderabad-based Abdullah Basith and Pune-based Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, and one Nabeel Siddick Khatri as accused in the matter.

The NIA said that Facebook had blocked the account of Sadiya Shaikh due to posting of radical contents on the social media portal and added that she had also questioned by Anti-Terrorist Squad of Pune Police for her radical posts in 2015.

The agency, in its chargesheet, said the accused were also hatching conspiracy for exciting disaffection against the Government of India, for a raise funds for procurement of sophisticated weapons, explosive material for preparing IEDs and to commit unlawful activities for promoting and furthering the ideology of banned terrorist organization promoting enmity between different communities of the country and ISIS.

As per the facts, circumstances and evidence came on record, it clearly establishes the complicity of the accused persons Jahanzaib, Hina, Basith, Sadiya and Nabeel intention to establish Islamic State in India by making a base of ISIS in Kashmir, it said.

“The accused persons had conspired to propagate the ideology of ISIS by garnering support of the like-minded people to carry out terrorist activities in India in the form of carrying out terrorist attacks by way of exploding IEDs and also by way of mass killings by using heavy vehicles for rampage on the busy streets/roads with the help of lone wolf attackers thereby striking terror in the minds of the people, radicalizing and instigating the vulnerable Muslim youths to join ISIS, establishing small cells across the country to work for ISIS in India, raising funds, collecting weapons for carrying out lone wolf attack, making IEDs, target killing of persons related to RSS so that the religious sentiments could be hurt which may further result in riots,” the chargesheet said.

The NIA alleged that the accused wanted to utilize the anti-CAA protests by instigating Muslims against non-Muslims through social media and graffiti-making on walls, for arson the government building/ properties so that riots could happen and they could exploit gullible Muslims in joining ISIS.

“Thus all these accused persons were conspiring for exciting disaffection against Govt. of India, promoting enmity between different communities of the country on the ground of religion andfor committing subversive activities in India to carry forward the ideology of ISIS in India,” the NIA said in its chargesheet.

According to the chargesheet, after the arrest of a Kashmir couple, the other three accused had formatted their devices.

“In the end of 2019, Nabeel tried to make Hydrogen Gas by using drain cleaner, aluminium foil and water at his own protein shop situated at Kaushar Bagh, Pune with the intention to use it in the lifting of balloons. Such balloons were supposed to be used for explosion during riots for targeting non-Muslims,” the agency said.

The NIA also said that the probe has revealed that accused persons Jahanzaib and Nabeel were also planning to organise mass killings with the help of suicide belt or IED by invoking 3-4 persons of Middle-East countries or by running over a truck on the crowd gathered during Ganpati Festival and thus causing a stampede resulting in a large number of fatal casualties.

They were also planning to target important leaders by using Anesthesia injection, the NIA said.

Earlier Hina Bashir Beigh had contracted COVID-19 while in the custody of the NIA. The Special Cell had arrested the other three accused, for allegedly having links with Islamic State Khorasan Province on March 8. The case was later transferred to NIA. (ANI)

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