Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday filed a chargesheet against six people in the Maharashtra terror module case, exposing their involvement in recruiting and fundraising for the global terrorist organisation, ISIS.
The six accused – Tabish Siddiqui, Zulfikar Ali, Sharjeel Shaikh, Aakif Ateeque Nachan from Borivali-Padgha, as well as Zubair Shaikh and Dr Adnanali Sarkar from Pune _ were held in July during multiple raids in the case. Two accused – Zulfikar Ali and Aakif Ateeque Nachan – were earlier also chargesheeted in the Pune ISIS module case for fabrication of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for triggering blasts.
The 4,000-page chargesheet, which was filed in the court of special NIA judge AK Lahoti, has 16 protected witnesses. The accused, as per the chargesheet, were actively involved in propagating the violent and extremist ideology of ISIS and in carrying out acts preparatory to terrorist violence, including recruiting individuals. Notably, two of the accused, Tabish and Zulfikar, had taken an oath of allegiance (bayath) to the self-styled khalifa (leader) of ISIS.
During the investigation, the NIA found that the accused possessed propaganda magazines like ‘Voice of Hind’ and ‘Voice of Khurasan’ published by ISIS. The probe also revealed that the accused were actively involved in raising funds to finance their terror plans and designs.
Additionally, the NIA found DIY (do it yourself) kits with their contacts from the accused. Sources said the kit was shared between all the arrested suspects. On the condition of anonymity, a high-ranking officer disclosed that the DIY kit is essentially a fabricated tool created by foreign-based ISIS handlers to facilitate lone-wolf attacks.
Use of DIY kit to misguide and manipulate youth
Official sources said the DIY kit contains material to misguide and manipulate youth through fabricated stories. This manipulation aims to provoke the youth into engaging in terrorist activities and mass killings. It also provides guidance on fabricating IEDs and small weapons such as pistols. It details how material can be collected and used.
The kit allegedly advises radicalised youths to not depend on others for their terror mission, and encourages them to carry out their mission independently, believing it to be in line with their goal of achieving Jannat. It also advises users to maintain a low profile to avoid detection by agencies.
The guidance within these kits emphasises leading a seemingly ordinary life while staying committed to the IS mission. Recruits are advised not to disclose their IS identity even to family members, while attempting to motivate others to follow the same path. The DIY kit also encourages the creation of media content by foreign-based ISIS handlers.
In addition to the DIY kit, the NIA claimed to have found suspicious emails exchanged by the arrested suspects. In these emails, they contacted the khalifa and took an oath of allegiance.