ISIS Wanted To Target BJP Offices & Leaders, NIA Sources Claim

ISIS Wanted To Target BJP Offices & Leaders, NIA Sources Claim

To carry out the terror blasts and assassinations, pistols, ammunition, and SIM cards were arranged by the ISIS-Al-Hindi Module sleeper cell based in India.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Tuesday, February 20, 2024, 09:06 PM IST
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Suspect Mohammad Zoheb Khan | FPJ

Mumbai, February 21: The global terror organization ISIS was planning to target the BJP office in Sambhaji Nagar and other districts in Maharashtra  as well as planning to assassinate several Hindu political leaders. To carry out the terror blasts and assassinations, pistols, ammunition, and  SIM cards were arranged by the ISIS-Al-Hindi Module sleeper cell based in India.

This was allegedly revealed by arrested NIA terror suspect Mohammad Zoheb Khan during interrogation by the NIA. Zoheb further revealed that for the task his ISIS handler, Abu Ahmed, shared with him Telegram ID links to contacts known as Anas-Al-Hindi and Anan-Al-Hindi and gave him a code to contact the ISIS sleeper cell and demand pistols, ammunition, and SIM cards.

The code was "Saman Chahiye." Zoheb followed the instructions and contacted both telegram IDs, simply writing "Saman Chahiye" to which he received a reply assuring him that the consignment would be delivered soon. According to Zoheb, his recent conversation on both IDs was his first and last, and he never had any further contact with them.

Suspect Instructed To Keep Track Of BJP Leaders' Movements:

According to sources, he told the investigators that he only contacted the Telegram IDs of the Al-Hind sleeper cell suspects for arms and ammunition on the ISIS handler's instructions but didn't know them nor personally meet them. During the interrogation, he said he was tasked to reconnoiter the BJP offices and leaders' movements, but the handler had not given him specific names. The agency is currently engaged in technical data analysis to determine his travel outside Sambhaji Nagar over the last one year.

According to sources, Zoheb was dangerously close to carrying out a terror operation, indicating an extreme level of radicalization. He was apprehended by the agency to prevent any such activities from happening. Presently, the NIA is investigating to identify the members of the Al Hindi module sleeper cell who were tasked with the job of  arranging  arms and ammunition.

Suspect Took Oath Of Allegiance

During the NIA investigation, Zoheb Khan allegedly revealed that he had been in direct contact with the ISIS handler, Abu Ahmad, since 2021. He had taken the bayah (oath of allegiance) with his wife and three kids to ISIS Khalifa Abu-Hafs-Al-Qureshi through a video call. Abu Hafs officially took over the ISIS leadership on 3 August 2023. He was announced as the caliph by the Islamic State after the death of his predecessor, Abu al-Hussein al-Husseini al-Qurashi.

Zoheb further revealed that after the bayath, his desire to migrate to Syria with his wife and three kids for Hijrah arose, but his wife refused to move. On the instruction of his ISIS handler, Abu Ahmed,started the recruitment process. However, his wife refused to follow the same path and left him and moved with their kids. Zoheb began arranging funds to visit Syria. For that, he planned to migrate from India to Afghanistan . He intended to meet his handler in Afghanistan before moving to Syria, specifically to the Sham region.

According to sources, Zoheb revealed that his ISIS handler assigned him the task of recruiting individuals for ISIS, arranging foot soldiers for reconnaissance operations, fundraising, and initiating terror blasts and assassination plans. During the investigation, it was revealed that Zoheb created several profiles on social media to connect with and recruit individuals, motivating them to join ISIS. Additionally, he gathered local youth, radicalized them, and recruited them to join ISIS, sharing incriminating videos and materials related to violent jihad and Hijrah to Syria.

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