FPJ Exclusive: NIA Investigates Farahtullah Ghori's Suspected Links To Islamic Fundamentalist Group Hizb-Ut-Tahrir

FPJ Exclusive: NIA Investigates Farahtullah Ghori's Suspected Links To Islamic Fundamentalist Group Hizb-Ut-Tahrir

During its investigations, NIA found that Ghori held the title of 'Ameer' and engaged radicalised youth in terror plans.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Monday, January 01, 2024, 07:45 AM IST
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FPJ Exclusive: NIA Suspects Farahtullah Ghori Involved With Islamic Fundamentalist Organization Hizb-Ut-Tahrir |

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) suspects that Farahtullah Ghori, the absconding accused in the ISIS terror module case, was operating as an handler, pulling strings for ISIS operations in Delhi, Maharashtra and Kerala, donning different hats across modules and going by aliases like Abu Sultan, Abu Suleman, Mohammad@Bhai, Abu, Abu Sufiyan, Sardar Saheb, and Faru. He was quite the enigmatic figure in the shadowy world.

 Details of investigations

During its investigations, NIA found that Ghori held the title of 'Ameer' and engaged radicalised youth in terror plans. All the arrested accused in the case, who had taken baiyth (oath) through Ghori’s associates, perceive him as their ISIS handler. According to reliable sources, Ghori never affiliated himself with any jihadist group. Instead, he leveraged personal connections and networks, linking operatives to entities al-Qaeda, and presently, the ISIS.

 According to reliable sources, investigations have revealed that Ghori was involved in terrorist operations in India with the support of Pakistan’s ISI. For terror operations in India, Ghori focussed on Delhi, Pune, and other locations in the Maharashtra terror module network, aiming to raise funds through criminal activities (Maal-e-Ghanimat). The objective is to represent it as a "home-grown" and "self-radicalised" network.

 Investigators suspect that the mastermind of the Maharashtra terror module, Saquib Nachan, was linked with ISIS handlers Abu Suleman and Abu Sultan. Saquib, who has been arrested, conducted the oath programme of ISIS, recording the entire process with a mobile camera, and then sending the video through VPN ((virtual private network)) with several email ids, Telegram, Snapchat, and several third-party apps to Abu Sultan and Abu Suleman. The agency is awaiting data retrieval from Nachan's and associates’ phone and other digital devices, along with the VPN recovered from him at the Forensic Science Laboratories, to confirm their suspicions.

Pune and Delhi terror module cases

In the Pune terror module case, the ISIS Pune module chief Imran Khan was in contact with Mohammad@Bhai. According to the NIA charge-sheet, Imran Khan consistently briefed Mohammad@Bhai about their terror mission, training, IED testing, reconnaissance, and other illicit activities. The agency suspects that in this case as well, the handler Mohammad@Bhai is none other than Ghori.

During the investigation of Delhi terror module after the arrest of Shahnawaz Alam, Rizwan Ashraf and Arshad Warsi, first by the Delhi special cell and then by the NIA, it was learned that ISI created an India-focused ISIS by using Pakistan-based Ghori and his son-in-law Shahid Faisal. Following leads obtained through reliable sources and technical means, several ISIS terror modules with footprints in UP, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra, were identified. In which, NIA again found ingredients of Ghori working as an ISIS handler.

Before the busting of the Delhi terror module by Delhi special cell, central intelligence agencies received the input that Ghori shared the operation to radicalised groups that he is very close to complete his operation, his terrorist group was actively planning to carry out attacks on Indian cities, including Delhi and Mumbai. Additionally, he mentioned that his cadre had already reached their designated targets to execute these operations. According to sources his plan was he shared is linked to arrested accused Sahahnaz ISIS Delhi terror module.

On the condition of anonymity, a senior officer shared that Ghori was attempting to motivate and radicalise several aggressive young individuals for lone-wolf attacks. To achieve this goal, he shared speeches and literature from various aggressive scholars. According to reliable sources, Ghori and his associates, along with their sleeper cell, are currently using certain gaming apps for communication. Agencies have tracked some of their chats on dark web chat platforms, where they were discussing "love jihad"-related operations and planning some terror activities.

Recently Central Intelligence Agency received the terror threat inputs on Ghori were allegedly inciting motivated and radicalised youth, with Ghori advising these individuals that if they were apprehended by government authorities, they should not surrender to the police. Instead, they have to launch fidayeen attacks on the police, law enforcement agencies, and the government. According to the Intel threat, the absconding terrorist Ghori was attempting to incite the sentiments of Indian Muslims. Ghori was trying to whip up the sentiments of Indian Muslims by asking them to eulogise Aurangzeb and Ahmed Shah Abdali as their heroes. Additionally, he circulated videos of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) on his chat platform. His intention was to indoctrinate and radicalise the youth, ultimately leading to the creation of communal tension and potential riots within the city.

Sources identify Ghori as a key member of Lashkar-E-Taiba and Jaish-E-Mohammad. Ghori reportedly leads Hizb-Ut-Tahrir (HUT), a global Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organisation. Sources state that, besides serving as an ISIS handler, Ghori is involved in terror activities through the HUT terror group. In July and August, the NIA apprehended individuals accused of having associations with HUT in Hyderabad. A total of 16 youths linked to HUT were arrested in operations across various locations, including Bhopal, Chhindwara, and Hyderabad. Ten individuals were arrested in Bhopal, one in Chhindwara, and five in Hyderabad. All the accused are educated professionals working in corporate companies, holding designated positions. Some were software engineers, while others were associated with international consultancy firms, and a few were students.

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