ISKP suspects planned arson, IED blasts to boost anti-CAA stir: NIA

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BY ANAND SINGH
New Delhi, Sep 2 (IANS)
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday filed a charge sheet against five accused, including a Kashmiri couple, in the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) case, for provoking youths to protest effectively against the CAA, and if this failed, planning arson attacks on government buildings and IED bombs in crowded places.
In the charge sheet filed at a special NIA court here, the NIA has named Jahanzaib Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh, both residents of Jammu and Kashmir and presently residing in Delhi’s Okhla area, Abdullah Basith of Hyderabad, Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, and Nabeel Siddick Khatri, both residents of Pune.
Abdullah Basith is already lodged in Delhi’s Tihar jail in connection with another IS Abu Dhabi module case of the NIA.
An NIA spokesperson said the accused were conspiring to utilise the anti-CAA protests to instigate Muslims against the Indian government by coining seditious slogans and inscribing graffiti at public places and highlighting the same on social and international media.
The official said they were allegedly provoking some gullible youth to participate in anti-CAA protests actively.
“In case these protests failed to provoke the Muslims, they were planning to carry arson attacks on government buildings and public property so that riots could happen and they could exploit the sentiments of Muslims,” the official said.
“During the probe it was found that Jahanzaib, Beigh, Basith and Siddick tried to make an improvised IED and were planning to carry out mass killings in crowded places to further the activities of ISIS/ISKP in India.”
The official said that the accused had carried out reconnaissance of certain sensitive locations in Maharashtra which are frequented by foreigners.
The five accused have been charged under several sections of the Indian Penal Code, and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for their affiliation with the proscribed terrorist organisation ISIS/ISKP and for conspiring to create disaffection against the government, promoting enmity among different religious communities and for committing subversive activities.
The official said that during investigation it was revealed that Wani, a B.Tech from Punjab’s Ferozpur, got radicalised and inclined towards the ISIS/ISKP by reading about it on the internet. He established contact with ISIS handler Huzaifa-al-Bakistani and latter’s father-in-law Abu Usman-al-Kashmiri (Head of Indian affairs of ISKP) in 2017 on secure messaging platform.
“Huzaifa-al-Bakistani further introduced Wani to Basith,” the official said.
Beigh, who had done her higher education from Pune, also got radicalised since 2014-15 by reading ISIS-related content on social media. Wani and Beigh married in 2017 as both supported the ideology of the ISIS, the official said.
“Wani, Beigh, Basith and Shaikh were continuously in contact with ISIS operatives based in Khorasan and Syria. On receiving instructions from Abu Usman-al-Kashmiri, Wani and Basith prepared a magazine titled ‘Voice of Hind’ to incite Muslims against non-Muslims and exhort them to rise against the government and join ISIS,” the official said.
The official said that the magazine eulogises ISIS/ISKP terrorists including Huzaifa-al-Bakistani who was killed in July 2019 in a drone strike in Afghanistan and denigrates the Indian Constitution and democratic system.
A case was initially registered by Delhi Police Special Cell in March 2020 after the arrest of Wani and his wife from Okhla Vihar in Jamia Nagar area here for having links with the ISKP.
The official also said that the anti-terror probe agency has arrested another accused, Abdur Rehman aka Dr. Brave, from Bengaluru on August 17, as he was also in contact with Wani as part of the conspiracy to promote the activities of ISIS/ISKP and had also visited an ISIS medical camp in Syria in 2014. Investigation into the activities of Rehman and other suspects in this case is continuing.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at anand.s@ians.in)

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