NIA discovers WhatsApp group operated by nabbed al-Qaeda operatives

Prema Rajaram | Updated on: Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 10:35 PM IST

6 Al Qaeda operatives arrested by NIA from Murshidabad on Saturday.  | ANI
6 Al Qaeda operatives arrested by NIA from Murshidabad on Saturday. | ANI

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) which busted an al-Qaeda module and arrested nine terror operatives last week has discovered a WhatsApp group operated by the alleged terrorists.

The operatives were members of a Whatsapp group called "Gazwatul-Hind" which translates into "Jihad against India". Mosaraf Hossen, who was arrested from Ernakulam, Kerala, was one of the group admins.

Investigations continue into the nine Al Qaeda operatives who were nabbed by the NIA on Saturday. Continuous raids are being conducted in Murshidabad district from where six of the nine terrorists were arrested.

The WhatsApp group was used to induct people and impart jihadi ideals. The main responsibility for indoctrination was on Atiur Rahaman, who is Mosaraf's brother. Mosaraf was also arrested during Saturday's raids.

NIA has recovered from Rahaman’s house, a book written by Zakir Naik, the Islamist televangelist preacher, who himself is being probed by Indian agencies and is on the run. Rahaman’s family members said that he won the book as second prize in a local elocution contest. These claims are yet to be verified.

Many local youths who were added to the WhatsApp group by Rahaman later left the group after they realised the intention behind it and disapproved of its activities.

One such youth, who has now left the group alleged that Abu Sufiyan who is another operative arrested on Saturday, forced the youth to join the group.

At least 22 others are still part of the WhatsApp group and are from the neighbourhood in Murshidabad district. The NIA has kept a close watch on them to get more clues in case of more suspected terrorist activities.

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Published on: Wednesday, September 23, 2020, 10:35 PM IST