The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday busted a Maharashtra based ISIS module by arresting four accused for promoting terrorist activities at the behest of ISIS, a proscribed terrorist outfit in an intelligence-led operation today.
The four were arrested after extensive raids by the NIA in Mumbai, Thane and Pune today morning. The accused have been identified as Tabish Nasser Siddiqui from Nagpada, Mumbai, Zubair Noor Mohammed Shaikh @ Abu Nusaiba from Kondhwa, Pune, and Sharjeel Shaikh and Zulfikar Ali Barodawala from Padgha, Thane.
Searches were conducted at their houses at five locations in the ISIS Maharashtra module case, registered by NIA on 28th June 2023. NIA teams seized several incriminating materials, such as electronic gadgets and several documents related to ISIS, during the searches at the houses of accused. The material seized clearly exposed the strong and active linkages of the accused with the ISIS and their efforts to motivate vulnerable youth to further the terror organisation’s anti-India agenda.
Preliminary investigations by the NIA have established that the accused had hatched a conspiracy to further the terrorist activities of ISIS, known by different names, such as Islamic State (IS)/Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)/Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/Daish/ Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP)/ISIS Wilayat Khorasan/Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham Khorasan (ISIS-K).
The accused were trying to breach the unity, integrity, security and sovereignty of the country and preparing to wage a war against the Government of India, as part of the ISIS conspiracy, by raising and operating a Sleeper Cell in Maharashtra.
NIA raids followed credible inputs that the accused Tabish Nasser Siddiqui, Zubair Noor Mohammed Shaikh @ Abu Nusaiba, Sharjeel Shaikh & Zulfikar Ali Barodawala and their associates had recruited youth and trained them in the fabrication of IEDs and weapons. The accused had also shared relevant material, including ‘Do it Yourself kits’ (DIY), amongst themselves for fabrication of IEDs and manufacture of small weapons, Pistols etc.
Further, on the directions of their foreign-based ISIS handlers, the accused had also created inflammatory media content, which was published in the magazine ‘Voice of Hind’, in furtherance of the banned outfit’s agenda of terror and violence.