Investigations into the ISIS terror module case have revealed a dangerous nexus between international terror organisation ISIS, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the fugitive terrorist Farahtullah Ghori, with the collaboration extending beyond ideological support, and delving into logistical help and illicit financial backing for a terror operation in Delhi/NCR.
A confidential report of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), accessed by the Free Press Journal, revealed that the arrested ISIS terror operatives Shahnawaz Alam and Mohammad Rizwan Ashraf worked on instructions from a foreign-based ISIS handler, conspiring with ISI and wanted terrorist Farahtullah Ghori to carry out terrorist activities in the Delhi/NCR region. They also received funds, logistical support and explosives through illegal means for the operation.
According to reliable sources in the intelligence agencies, this is the first instance where the involvement of ISI and Ghori in an ISIS terror plot has been exposed. Investigation agencies suspect that ISI, along with the terror organisation, is currently orchestrating activities in India. Foreign-based handlers may potentially be Pakistan-based ISI agents or terrorists.
ISIS Maharashtra module dismantled
The NIA report reveals the dismantling of the ISIS Maharashtra module in July 2023 by Pune police, Maharashtra police's Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and the NIA. Imran Khan, the mastermind, and others were apprehended, but Shahnawaz managed to escape. During the period, the ISIS handler shared close contacts with a person called ISI Akka (leader) and the fugitive terrorist Gauri to Shahanawaz. Following Akka and Ghori's instructions, Shahnawaz and Rizwan reached Delhi, where a city-based unidentified contact arranged a hideout for them.
According to the report, ISI and Ghori tasked Shahnawaz and Rizwan with a critical mission for a terror operation in Delhi/NCR. The Delhi-based contact, who is currently absconding, managed logistical support, procuring weapons, arms and ammunition and provided funds for the task. They both established a base in Delhi, with their objective remaining a major terror operation in Delhi/NCR. Before the operation could take off, both were arrested by Delhi's special cell.
Delhi operative's role in coordinating terror plans
According to sources, they suspect that the Delhi-based contact person might be the same individual who not only arranged logistical and financial support for Shahnawaz's terror operation but could also be the person who traveled from Delhi to Padgha, near Thane, to meet Saquib Nachan. Investigators said that the Delhi man traveled to Mumbai on the instructions of the ISIS handler to discuss plans for an ISIS terror operation that Saquib was purportedly planning to execute.
According to the confidential report, intelligence inputs revealed crucial information on ISIS pan-India operation during Shahnawaz's statement recorded before the magistrate. His statement indicates his connection with other ISIS terror module links, including Nachan and their associates. NIA has taken the remand of Nachan and other accused to unearth various facts, with a focus on understanding their planning for terrorist activities in Delhi/NCR, Mumbai and other areas.
Apart from ISI, Ghori's name continues to surface in several terror cases over the past year. NIA investigations have revealed that Ghori, a key member of Lashkar-E-Taiba and Jaish-E-Mohammad, is leading Hizb-Ut-Tahrir (HUT), a global Islamic fundamentalist terrorist organisation. Operating through a chat group on the dark web, Ghori has been evading authorities.
After years of evading authorities, Ghori resurfaced with a series of audio-visual messages. His unexpected return to social media platforms like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and Telegram in early 2022 grabbed the attention of Indian security agencies.
Shahnawaz Alam |
Farahtullah Ghori |
Saquib Nachan |