ISIS Conspiracy Case: Saqib Nachan Refutes Allegations Of Involvement In Terror Activities As NIA Probes His Ties With Foreign Handler

ISIS Conspiracy Case: Saqib Nachan Refutes Allegations Of Involvement In Terror Activities As NIA Probes His Ties With Foreign Handler

According to sources, he is strategically attempting to mislead investigating agencies and exert pressure on them by crafting a narrative of atrocities in the name of religion.

Ashish SinghUpdated: Thursday, December 21, 2023, 08:06 AM IST
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Saqib Nachan | File

The alleged mastermind behind the ISIS module has during interrogation denied any involvement in terrorist activities related to the group.

According to a source, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has learned that Saqib Nachan had information about the identity of an ISIS handler based abroad. This handler maintained contact with both Nachan and Mohammad Imran Khan, the mastermind of the Pune-based Al Sufa module.

ISIS handler directly coordinated with Saqib Nachan, Imran

The ISIS handler, known by multiple names – Abu Suleman, Abu Sultan and Mohammad 'bhai' – has been identified as the person alleged to coordinate with Nachan and Khan. It is suspected that Nachan knew him, likely having met him during his prison term or possibly after his release from jail in 2017, and before he left for Syria. The source said that the handler reportedly sent an unidentified person from Syria to Mumbai via a third country, reaching Padgha to meet Nachan. Discussions unfolded regarding plans for an upcoming terror operation that Nachan was purportedly planning to execute.

Nachan denies involvement

However, the investigation faces challenges as Nachan, during questioning, has not cooperated and shown reluctance to cooperate, consistently denying any involvement in the module and denying claims of meetings with the ISIS handler.

During the interrogation, Nachan claimed that he did not have a bank account or his own registered mobile phone. According to him, he worked as a real estate agent, earning around Rs 2 to Rs 3 lakh per month. He kept only the money required for family needs and used the remaining funds to help people and support community causes, he said. Nachan said his second son followed a similar path, earning and donating a significant part of his income to community causes.

According to the sources, the investigation found that Nachan was involved in disputed land deals in Padgha and nearby areas. He was known as a member of the land mafia who intimidated people to acquire and sell land. The money is allegedly parked with a few of his associates to avoid detection.

During the interrogation, he additionally claimed that he cannot travel outside of Thane without court permission. Even when summoned by the NIA, he reportedly obtained court permission to appear before them. Therefore, it’s not possible for him to go and meet someone personally linked with ISIS.

Phone data, email accounts

Due to his allegedly misleading replies, the agency is waiting for data retrieval from the phone recovered from his house search and VPN network data analysis from the Forensic Science Laboratories. According to the sources, Nachan created several email accounts to share details and bait-related videos with foreign-based handlers. After using these accounts once, they were never used again, making it challenging for the agency to retrieve the data.

Currently, the NIA is looking for the ISIS handler. Khan regularly updated him about their operations and explosives-related testing. For Khan, he is Mohammed bhai, and for Nachan, he is Mohammad Suleman and Mohammad Salman. Sources said that the handler is likely to be Indian and linked to SIMI, who joined ISIS and is currently in touch with different modules.

Financial twist

In a financial twist, the NIA discovered that the arrested accused received Rs 7,16,800 from ISIS handlers. The NIA is now probing Nachan’s role in facilitating these funds from the foreign handler, suggesting Khan merely followed instructions.

Sources say that during the interrogation, Nachan stated to the investigators that he knows he will not come out now and will remain in jail until his death. Still, he aims to become an ideal for his community and the next generation. He believes his sacrifice will guide the next generation of his community, and people will know him as the Godman and the true representative of Allah.

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