NIA Raids In Maharashtra & Karnataka: 15 Operatives Arrested In ISIS Terror Conspiracy Case; Visuals Surface

NIA Raids In Maharashtra & Karnataka: 15 Operatives Arrested In ISIS Terror Conspiracy Case; Visuals Surface

As per the latest update, all the accused will be produced in Delhi's Patiala court today.

Ashish Singh Kamal MishraUpdated: Sunday, December 10, 2023, 12:23 AM IST
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NIA raided multiple locations in Maharashtra on Saturday, December 9 | Prashant Narvekar

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted widespread raids in Maharashtra and Karnataka on Saturday in connection with an alleged ISIS terror conspiracy case. The operation covered 44 locations, including two in Pune, 31 in Thane Rural (encompassing Kalyan, Bhiwandi, and Padgha), nine in Thane city, and one in Mira Bhayander. Additionally, raids were carried out in Karnataka, leading to the arrest of 15 operatives associated with the banned terror outfit allegedly for promoting terror and engaging in terror-related activities.

NIA raids underway in Bhiwandi in Thane

NIA raids underway in Bhiwandi in Thane | Prashant Narvekar

Details of the raids

The arrested individuals include the alleged leader and head of the ISIS module, Saqib Nachan. He was administering the 'bayath' (oath) to new recruits, pledging allegiance to the Khalifa of ISIS. According to the NIA, Saqib Nachan, under the direction of foreign handlers, actively engaged in terrorist activities, including fabricating IEDs, to advance ISIS's violent agenda.

During the raid, NIA seized huge amounts of unaccounted cash, firearms, sharp-edged weapons, incriminating documents, smartphones, and other digital devices.

NIA investigations have further revealed that the main accused Saquib nachan and all members of ISIS Maharashtra module were allegedly operating from Padgha-Borivali, where they had hatched the conspiracy to spread terror and carry out acts of violence across India. Pursuing the path of violent Jihad, Khilafat, ISIS initial investigations have also revealed that the arrested accused Saqib nachan had self-declared the village of Padgha in rural Thane as a ‘liberated zone’ and as ‘Al Sham’. They were motivating impressionable Muslim youth to relocate to Padgha from their place of residence for strengthening the Padgha base.

NIA raids underway in Bhiwandi in Thane

NIA raids underway in Bhiwandi in Thane | Prashant Narvekar

Arrested operatives

Shamil Nachan, son of Saquib Nachan, is already in custody in connection with the ISIS Maharashtra terror module case.

The NIA also searched Areeb Majeed's residence. Areeb Majeed, who had traveled to Iraq to join the Islamic State group, engaged in ISIS-related terror activities, and later returned to India, is the brother-in-law of Shamil Nachan. Areeb Majeed is summoned to appear before the NIA headquarters in Mumbai on December 11th. Besides Areeb Majeed, three more people have also been summoned on December 11th.

NIA raids underway in Bhiwandi in Thane

NIA raids underway in Bhiwandi in Thane | Prashant Narvekar

Saquib Nachan, along with his close associates Hasib Mulla and Musab Mulla, has been arrested by the NIA. The other individuals allegedly involved in this terror module include Kasif Bellare, Rafil Nachan, Razil Nachan, Saif Nachan, Shagaf Divakar, Firoz Dastgir Kuwari, Farhan Suse, Rehan Ashfak Suse, Musab Hasib Mulla, Yahya Ravish Khot, Munzir Kunnathupeedikal, Adil Khot, and Muskil Nachan.

Saquib Nachan

Saquib nachan, former SIMI member and a close associate of Indian Mujahideen, has a history involving criminal activities. He was convicted for his involvement in three bomb blasts that occurred in 2002 and 2003 at Mumbai Central, Vile Parle, and Mulund stations, resulting in the death of around a dozen people.

Nachan was sentenced to ten years of imprisonment under the Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA) for possessing weapons. After serving time behind bars as an undertrial, he was convicted in March 2016. His trial marked a significant case, as it was one of the first instances where educated professionals were accused of carrying out terror attacks. In 2017, Nachan was released from prison and went to his hometown of Padgha with his relatives. Over the years, Saquib Nachan was under the radar of law enforcement agencies due to alleged involvement in various terrorist activities connected to Padgha.

NIA raids underway in Bhiwandi in Thane

NIA raids underway in Bhiwandi in Thane | Prashant Narvekar

Saquib Nachan's legal history is noteworthy: he was first arrested in 1991 in connection with a Gujarat terror case and was initially sentenced to life, which was later reduced to ten years by the Supreme Court. He was released in 2001 but was arrested again in connection with the 2003 blast case. Although he was also booked in three separate murder cases, he was acquitted in those instances. However, he was arrested and sentenced for his role in the 2002 and 2003 bomb blasts and the subsequent POTA case.

Raids in Karnataka

In a separate incident, NIA raids were conducted at Ali Abbas's residence in Fraser Town, Bengaluru. Ali Abbas, a Mumbai-based suspect who settled in Bangalore in 2018, is a data science consultant and runs an Urdu school on Tannery Road, Bengaluru. According to NIA investigations, Ali Abbas bought a flat in 2018 for Rs 72 lakh in Fraser Town and settled there with his wife and three children. He is suspected to have links with ISIS sympathizers. During the raid, Rs 16 lakh cash was seized, along with mobile phones and laptops found at his house.

Names of the individuals arrested by the NIA

1. Shakib Nachan

2. Hasib Mulla

3. Musab Mulla

4. Rehan Suse

5. Farhan Suse

6. Firoz Kuvari

7. Adil Khot

8. Mukhlis Nachan

9. Saif Atik Nachan

10. Yahya Khot

11. Rafil Nachan

12. Rajil Nachan

13. Shagaf Divakar

14. Kasif Belare

15. Munjir Kepi

The terror conspiracy case

The case pertains to a criminal conspiracy hatched by accused persons and their associates. The accused had pledged allegiance to the ideology of proscribed terrorist organizations including Al-Qaeda and ISIS. They had also formed a terrorist gang.

The terrorist organizations were recruiting like-minded youth and brainwashing the potential recruits into their fold. They also held religious classes to promote extremist ideology and wage violent jihad to establish Islamic rule in India.

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