ISIS Terror Module: NIA ‘Identifies’ Suspect’s Afghan Handler

ISIS Terror Module: NIA ‘Identifies’ Suspect’s Afghan Handler

According to sources, the NIA identified Zoheb’s Afghanistan-based ISIS handler as Abu Ahmad

Ashish SinghUpdated: Monday, February 19, 2024, 01:38 AM IST
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Mumbai: A key suspect in the ISIS Chhatrapati Sambhaji Nagar ‘terror’ module, Mohammad Zoheb Khan, has revealed several crucial pieces of information during interrogation by National Investigation Agency (NIA).

According to sources, the NIA identified Zoheb’s Afghanistan-based ISIS handler as Abu Ahmad. During its investigation, the agency found that Zoheb had recorded a video pledging allegiance to ISIS and shared it with Ahmad. He was involved in ISIS recruitment programmes and maintained contact with sleeper cells in India.

During questioning, Zoheb allegedly revealed that his brother, Shoaib, had already joined ISIS and had shared a link with Zoheb two years ago through the Telegram app, connecting him with the ISIS handler Ahmad's social media ID.

More than 35 fake profiles

According to the sources, Zoheb created more than 35 fake profiles with the same password to connect with his handler and to recruit and radicalise young individuals on social media. The investigation also found that after each conversation, Zoheb would delete call logs, as well as audio, video, and text and social media messages.

The investigation revealed that Zoheb had two brothers. One, Mohammad Sharik Khan, lives in Doha, working as a civil engineer. The other, Shoaib, is currently one of India’s most-wanted terrorists, believed to be in Libya. Family members describe Shoaib as a scholar and university professor in Libya, emphasising that he has not returned to India for several years and is not associated with any terrorist group.

Shoaib’s affiliation with ISIS in Libya

The NIA claims to have confirmed Shoaib’s affiliation with ISIS in Libya and his status as a wanted individual by several central agencies. Shoaib is known to be in contact with Zoheb.

According to the agencies, they have found several links between Zoheb’s sister-in-law with ISIS. She currently lives in Dubai.

According to the sources, Zoheb was in touch with his handler to further the activities of the terror network. He was reportedly planning to move to Afghanistan to join the ISIS Khorasan module. Zoheb had applied for a passport and was planning to leave India. However, his passport process was delayed as the local police had some queries about his verification. He had been pursuing the local police for verification for the past few months.

Zoheb’s lawyer Vansant Prabhu, however, stated that Zoheb was not linked with any terror outfit and was planning to travel legally to Afghanistan. He has already contacted the Indian and Afghanistan embassies for this purpose, Prabhu said.

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