Friday, 26 January 2018

Pune girl Sadia Shaikh Arrested, suspected to be part of ISIS bomb plot

To read about Sadia Anwar Sheikh's previous history with law enforcement, visit [1]. For the latest updates, visit #Pune 001

ATS, cops trying to trace Pune girl suspected to be part of ISIS

Pune/Mumbai: The Kashmir police has contacted the Pune police about the whereabouts of a Pune girl, Sadia Anwar Shaikh, who according to intelligence inputs, is suspected to have planned a terror act in Kashmir ahead of Republic Day, said a senior Pune police officer. The Pune police got in touch with the girl’s parents, who denied that their daughter was in touch with the ISIS, claiming that “she is in the city where she was sent for studies,” said the officer. 

According to sources, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had in 2015 attempted to de-radicalise her when she allegedly came in contact with ISIS online recruiters.Efforts to trace her on, said a senior Pune ATS officer.In 2015, Sadia’s parents had approached the ATS after noticing certain changes in her behaviour, which alarmed them, said ATS sources. Ravindra Kadam, additional police commissioner, Pune, said, “Yesterday we received inputs that Sadia Shaikh, who hails from Pune, was in Jammu and Kashmir and is suspected to have planned to execute a terror act in the state ahead of the Republic Day.

The Pune police visited her house and though she is not in the city, her parents have claimed that she is at the place where she has been sent for her studies. Her parents don’t want to reveal her location as police or media would try to contact her, thus disturbing her studies. According to her mother, she is safe and is not in touch with ISIS at all. But she is not at all ready to reveal the daughter’s location.Another police official revealed that the description received by the Pune police from their counterparts in Kashmir matches that of Sadia. He added that coincidently she was not in Pune and it was most likely that the girl in Kashmir was Sadia.Vinod Patil, police inspector, ATS, Pune, said, “In 2015, Sadia Shaikh, a minor girl from an upmarket society in Yerwada in Pune had joined the ISIS. 

A student of Saint Philips School in Yerwada, she had a modern lifestyle but she suddenly started to wear traditional dresses with hijab. Her parents got suspicious and contacted the Pune ATS. During investigation, the ATS found out that the girl had contacted the ISIS through social media. The girl also revealed that she was promised a seat in a medical college in Syria by ISIS.“Since she was a minor, the ATS could not detain her. They tried to de-radicalise her with the help of local maulavis. 

Later, Sadia she promised that she would not follow that route again. Now suddenly we have received this input.”Another ATS official said, “To keep watch on the girl to see if she is again active with the ISIS is difficult. Basically, the ISIS works through social media, How can we tell that she is again working for ISIS by sitting in her house. This process has been pretty clumsy. That is why we could not realise whether she got in touch with ISIS again or not.” When The Asian Age contacted senior officers of the ATS and Jammu and Kashmir police, they refrained from commenting on the issue.

Pune: Female suicide bomber detained in Kashmir, links to ISIS unearthed

Jan 26, 2018, 17:32 IST (Mid Day)

While Talking to Mid-Day's Ravindra Kadam, the joint commissioner of police law and order Pune said," As of now we do not have received any official Intimation from Kashmir police. We contacted the girl’s parents, who denied that their daughter was in touch with ISIS, claiming that she is in Maharashtra where she was sent for studies."

The Pune police visited her house and though she is not in the city, her parents have claimed that she is busty with her studies. Her parents don’t want to reveal her location fearing that the police or media would try to contact her. According to her mother, she is safe and is not in touch with ISIS.
Munir Khan ADG of Jammu and Kashmir police said,"A lady who is suspected to be a suicide bomber has been apprehended, we will verify facts and talk to her, only then can we come to a conclusion." Intelligence agencies had alerted J&K security agencies about 18-year-old human suicide bomber Sadia Sheikh from Pune who had reached Kashmir to launch attack in view of 26 January.

Sadia Shaikh was a student at Saint Philips School in Yerwada, she had a modern lifestyle but she suddenly started to wear traditional dresses with hijab. Her parents got suspicious and contacted the Pune ATS. During the investigation, the ATS found out that the girl had contacted ISIS through social media. The girl also revealed that she was promised a seat in a medical college in Syria by ISIS. Since she was a minor, the ATS could not detain her. However, the ATS tried to de-radicalise her with the help of local Maulavis.

Pune-based radicalised girl detained in Kashmir; likely to be handed over to family

The girl identified as Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, who turned 18 in November last year, had come from Pune and was staying in Bijbehara as a paying guest and planning to join the ISIS, the police has claimed.However, during her extensive questioning, the school dropout turned out to be having radical thoughts who had fallen prey to false propaganda on social networking site about alleged suffering of the Kashmiri people at the hands of security forces, the officials said.

The state police has got in touch with her mother and aunt and she will be handed over to them as there is no case pending against the detained girl either in the Valley or Maharashtra, they said.It was a case of misinterpreting an intelligence input by the Jammu and Kashmir police who were informed by central security agencies that a Pune-based girl, who was detained on various occasions by the ATS Pune, had shifted her base to the Valley and that surveillance needs to be mounted.

However, Additional Director General of Police Munir Khan, who is functioning as Inspector General of Police Kashmir range, issued an alert to all districts naming her and claiming she was a suicide bomber planning to disrupt the Republic Day function.

The note signed by Khan said that "there is a strong input" that an 18-year-old non-Kashmiri woman might "cause a suicide bomb explosion" near or inside the Republic Day parade in Kashmir."All are directed to please ensure that frisking of ladies at the (venues) is done meticulously and with utmost caution so as to thwart the designs of ANEs (anti-national elements)," the note, circulated on January 23, read.

Today, after understanding the gravity of the faux pas, Khan refused to give any details and said, "We will be talking to her and we will be talking to our sister agencies. We will be covering every other lead to know what the facts are. After doing proper investigation, we will come to any conclusion. 

Shaikh had been questioned by the Pune Anti-Terrorism Squad in 2015, when it came to notice that she had been radicalised after coming in contact with ISIS supporters abroad.She was planning to travel to Syria, the ATS had then claimed. The woman, a Class 11 student at a Pune college, was subsequently sent for a de-radicalisation programme by the ATS.

Kashmir Police gives clean chit to the “suicide bomber” who never was

Jan 27, 2018 (Milli Gazette)

Sadia Anwar Shaikh, 18-year-old Pune girl was arrested by Kashmir Police on 26 January claiming that she was planning to explode herself during the Republic Day parade in Kashmir. I visited her home in Pune today to ascertain the facts. I found ATS people camping around her house in large numbers. I could first meet her maternal grandmother and later met her mother also who told me that Sadia had gone to Kashmir seeking admission in BSc Nursing in a college there. Her course was going to start on 15 February.

Her mother said that Sadia is a religious girl who is punctual with her prayers and used to talk to her grandfather about religious matters. Sadia’s father had died while she was still a young child and since then she lived with her maternal grandfather. She was a good student and always secured good results in her exams. Having attended a convent school, Sadia is good at English.

Her mother said that local media people are pestering the family since Sadia was arrested in Kashmir and this has made the family’s life difficult. ATS people too are camping outside her home in large numbers. They tell the family why you observe purdah and why you offer namaz. The mother said, if I go out to the market, ATS people follow me continuously. She said, IB had given an input to Kashmir Police that a girl from Pune has come to Kashmir to take part in a suicide attack. Thereafter, Munir Khan, IGP of Kashmir, issued a red alert and finally Kashmir Police arrested Sadia at 11 am on 26 January. 

Sadia’s mother said that Kashmir Police has investigated the matter thoroughly and has given clean chit to Sadia saying that she is not involved in any terrorist or extremist activity and that there is no truth in her relationship with ISIS or Al-Baghdadi. Sadia’s mother said that Kashmir Police has contacted her over phone saying that she can come to Kashmir and take her daughter back to Pune. Sadia’s mother is sore with the print and electronic media which did  not bother to check the facts and instantly started a smear campaign against the innocent girl. Sadia’s mother left for Kashmir tonight, 27 January. She expressed her apprehension that once back in Pune, Maharshtra Police may arrest or harass Sadia.

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Briton 'Jihadi Sid' placed on global terror list for role as Isil executioner

For the latest updates, visit #Abu Rumaysah

Briton 'Jihadi Sid' placed on global terror list for role as Isil executioner

US officials have put a British jihadist on a global terrorist list and identified him as the replacement for Jihadi John as Islamic State group’s executioner. Siddhartha Dhar was designated a global terrorist by the US State Department alongside a Belgian-Morrocan also fighting for the militants in the Middle East.

Dhar, a former bouncy castle salesman also known as Abu Rumasayah, was able to escape the authorities and take his family to Syria despite being on bail for terrorism offences. After arriving in the self-declared caliphate of Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (Isil) he was then believed to have appeared as a masked figure presenting a propaganda video which he said showed “British spies” being executed. In the gruesome ten and a half minute clip, the men, who are wearing orange jump suits, each confess to passing on information about Isil and its operatives.

The US Government said the declaration of Dhar and Abdelatif Gaini as specially designated global terrorists would seek to deny them “the resources they need to plan and carry out further terrorist attacks”.

A statement said Dhar, who has been nicknamed ‘Jihadi Sid’ was a leading member of the now-defunct terrorist organization Al-Muhajiroun, alongside Anjem Choudary. “He is considered to have replaced ISIS executioner Mohammad Emwazi, also known as Jihadi John. “Dhar is believed to be the masked leader who appeared in a January 2016 ISIS video of the execution of several prisoners ISIS accused of spying for the UK.”

American officials said the designation “notifies the US public and the international community that Dhar and Gaini have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.
“Terrorism designations expose and isolate organizations and individuals, and deny them access to the US financial system.”

Dhar was arrested in September 2014 alongside Choudary on suspicion of belonging to the banned group Al-Muhajiroun. But to the embarrassment of the authorities, just hours after being granted police bail, Dhar caught a bus to Paris with his family and then travelled on to Syria where he joined Isil. He then taunted the British authorities by boasting of his new life in the Caliphate and posted pictures on Twitter, showing him holding an AK-47 assault rifle in one arm and his baby son on the other.

Dhar was raised a Hindu, but converted to Islam to marry his Muslim wife Aisha. Former neighbours in Walthamstow, east London, have claimed Dhar's wife was more devout than him and suggested she may have put him on the path to extremism. In the months leading up to his arrest Dhar was accused of burning poppies and calling for the imposition of Sharia law in Britain. He was a key member of al-Muhajiroun and offshoot groups such as the Shariah Project, masterminding 'roadshows' in London that aimed to recruit troubled youngsters to Islam.
Choudary was later jailed for five years and six months at the Old Bailey for drumming up support for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

The Areeb Majeed Trial: 2018 Updates

Areeb Majeed challenges bail-rejection order

Updated : Jan 10, 2018, 3:53 am IST (Asian Age)

Mumbai: Kalyan youth Areeb Majeed, who was arrested in 2014 for allegedly joining the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Syria, has filed an appeal in the Bombay high court challenging the sessions court order rejecting his bail plea. Majeed has contended that the National Investigating Agency (NIA) court failed to consider the fact that sections pertaining to being member of a terrorist organisation have been dropped against him and other ‘discrepancies in the prosecution’s story’ that makes him eligible to get bail.

According to a source, Majeed in his bail application has contended that dropping of stringent sections, which deal with allegations of being a member of a terrorist organisation is indeed a change in circumstance but the NIA court while rejecting the bail has relied upon the rejection of bail in the past. “The court has not taken into consideration the fact that there is a change in circumstance,” said the source.


Rohini Salian to appear for Kalyan youth Areeb Majeed

Updated : Jan 11, 2018, 4:45 am IST (Asian Age)

Mumbai: Former National Investigation Agency (NIA) special public prosecutor Rohini Salian will appear as defence lawyer of Kalyan youth Areeb Majeed, who was arrested for allegedly travelling to Iraq and Syria to join the ISIS. “I have filed my vakalatnama (authority paper filed by an advocate to appear on behalf of client judicial proceedings) for Majeed on Tuesday,” said Ms Salian.

When asked about case details, Ms Salian said that she was going through the case papers and did not judge an accused beforehand. Advocate Farhana Shah is already appearing as Majeed’s defence lawyer. With Ms Salian joining in, Majeed will have two experienced feisty lawyers appearing for him.


IS recruit from Mumbai: Trial begins 3 years after his arrest

Updated: Jan 25, 2018 10:13 IST (Hindustan Times)

Three years after Islamic State (IS) recruit – Areeb Majeed’s return to India – a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, on Wednesday, began the trial against him.The court recorded evidence of the tour operator through whose agency, Majeed, along with three other persons, left India on the pretext of going for a pilgrimage. The prosecution examined Fahad Sayed, 32, the chief executive officer of Rahar Travels, as he is the first witness against Majeed.

Sayed told the court that Majeed had called him on April 14, 2014 for a package tour for Ziyarat (pilgrimage) to Haj. The witness said that on the same day, he along with another youth – Saheem Tanki, came to his office with an advance payment of Rs59,786. He said that Majeed, along with his friend, wanted to book a tour for four persons and also provided him with relevant documents of all the four.

Later on May 10, 2014, Majeed visited Sayed’s office with another person called Fahad and deposited Rs1.30 lakh, he said. The remaining balance was paid to him on May 17, 2014, when Majeed came to his office with Tanki. Sayed said that although the four had gone for the tour, on June 1, 2014, he was later informed by his tour manager that they went missing. Sayed also said that he was informed that one of the boys’ relatives, Abdul Kadar, had filed a missing complaint at Baghdad.

ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed wants to argue case himself

Updated: Feb 09, 2018 00:22 IST  (Hindustan Times)

The alleged Islamic State (ISIS) recruit Areeb Majeed does not want an advocate to conduct his trial. Instead, he wants to argue in person before the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court. On Thursday, Majeed moved an application seeking permission to conduct the case on his own and to discontinue the services of his lawyer.

He had appointed former chief public prosecutor and the NIA’s special public prosecutor, Rohini Salian, to fight his case. The trial began last month, with the prosecution bringing in its first witness — the owner of the tour operator through which Majeed and his four friends left India and joined the terror group.

On Thursday, the prosecution was scheduled to examine a second witness in the case. However, before the witness could be called, Majeed moved this application before the court.
In his application, Majeed cited the case of Saquib Nachan, who was convicted in connection with the 2003 blast case. Nachan had studied while he was lodged in jail, eventually presenting his case on his own before the same court. The court has now adjourned the case for a hearing on the application. Before such an application can be approved, Majeed will have to obtain a no objection certificate from Salian and present it to the court, according to procedure.

Mumbai court permits ISIS recruit Areeb Majeed to fight case without a lawyer

Updated: Feb 15, 2018 11:31 IST  (Hindustan Times)

Alleged Islamic State (ISIS) recruit Areeb Majeed will defend himself. On Wednesday, the special court for National Investigating Agency (NIA) allowed him to fight his case without a lawyer.

In his application, Majeed cited the case of Saquib Nachan, who was convicted in connection with the 2003 blast case. Nachan had studied while he was lodged in jail, eventually presenting his case on his own before the same court. He had cross-examined all the witnesses and made his final arguments before the court on his own. Majeed had appointed former chief public prosecutor and the NIA’s special public prosecutor, Rohini Salian, to fight his case. However, following his plea, Salian withdrew from the case on Wednesday.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

'Can wage Jihad even if I am in jail', says ISIS operative in West Bengal

For the latest on Mohammed Mosiruddin, visit #West Bengal 002.

'Can wage Jihad even if I am in jail', says ISIS operative in West Bengal

Officers privy to the interrogation informed OneIndia that Musa is highly radicalised. He said during his questioning, " do you think you can bar me from waging jihad just because I am in jail. There is no place and jihad can be waged from anywhere," he also said.
He further said that he had been planning this for over a month now. Musa who was in solitary confinement further said that when the warden came to check on him, he first hit him with a stone and then slit his throat. The jail security was immediately roped in and they managed to overpower Musa.


Saturday, 28 October 2017

Kannur Five from Kerala Killed in Syria

Five from Kannur fighting for ISIS killed in Syria

Updated Oct 28, 2017, 7:01 am IST (Deccan Chronicle)

Kannur: The police on Friday released the photographs of five persons, all natives of Kannur who were killed in Syria after joining the Islamic State. It is for the first time the police has confirmed  their  death  though there were reports earlier  of their killings based on feedback received by their kith and kin through communication platform like Telegram
The victims are T.V. Shameer, a native of Pazhanchira near Pappinissery, his son Salman,  A.V. Shahnad from Chalad, Muhammed  Shajil from Mundery, Chakkarakkallu, and Rihsal from Valapattanam. The photographs, which  were given earlier by the central intelligence agencies,  were handed over to the media after perusing the communications of those arrested recently and also getting confirmation from them.

Dy SP P.P. Sadanandan,  who is investigating the case,  told DC that the police had  been trying to  confirm  the deaths though the photographs were received much earlier.

“We have no other evidence  like the body or foolproof visuals of the body. But the deaths have  been confirmed by verifying multiple sources,”  he added.

T.V. and Salman Shameer

It was in December 2015  that  Shameer (45) along with his wife Fousiya, children Safvan, Salman (20) and Najiya went to Syria.

A.V. Shahnad

Shahnad joined IS camp during his job in Bahrain. He was 25.

Muhammed Shajil

Shajil went to Syria in October 2016 along with his wife Shahnas, children Mishva and Abdulla Vahid. It was his wife who first informed the relatives about his death during the IS war. She had also asked the relatives to pray for him and also do other religious ceremonies, according to police.

“We came to know about the death of five men from the district through their relatives. We are trying to confirm news about their death,” Mr. Sadanandan said.
“The news about the death of one of them, Muhammed Shajil, 25, was conveyed by his wife in a foreign country, to his uncle.

Last month, a WhatsApp voice message sent by Shajir’s wife Hafziya from Syria to his relatives had informed that Shajir became a shaheed (martyr). According to the information, he died of bullet injuries in his leg. Hafziya is believed to be staying on in Syria with two small children.

The audio clip of a woman who is reportedly trapped in Islamic State territory in Syria with her two children following the death of her husband has turned the focus on the plight of women and children who have been dragged into the dreaded outfit. The woman, identified as Hafziya, described her plight in the audio clip that she sent to her brother in Dubai informing him of the death of her husband Mohammad Shajil (30) who was killed while fighting for the Islamic State in September. The audio clip obtained by the police reveals that she along with her kids were staying in Islamic State territory in Syria with several other women whose husbands have been killed.

Hafziya said that all the women and children were living in absolute anguish and uncertainty as they do not know what awaits them in the war-ravaged area or whether they will ever be able to return home.

Mohammed Rishal (Kerala #002-003 article)

Rishal, native of Valapattanam,  went to Syria in 2014 along with his wife Huda. Later his relatives received a message from the couple that they were  trapped in IS camp and unable to escape. Police also confirmed the death of three persons from Kozhikode and Malappuram who went along with Rishal.

The wife of another Rishad disclosed information about his death to her mother,” he added.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Ahmedabad-Surat ISIS Cell Busted, 2 Arrested

Gujarat ATS Arrests Two Suspected ISIS Operatives from Surat

In the second ISIS plot in India to be disrupted this month, the Gujarat ATS (Anti Terrorist Squad) has arrested 2 suspected ISIS operatives who were allegedly planning to execute attacks in Ahmedabad during the Gujarat elections. This is the second Gujarati ISIS cell to be busted this year. Gujarat is the home state of  Indian PM Narendra Modi. Earlier in the day Kerala police had arrested 3 men who were planning to set off explosives in the South Indian state.

Updated: October 25, 2017 9:30 PM IST  (INDIA.COM)

The Gujarat Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Wednesday arrested two suspected ISIS terrorists from Surat. The ATS said that both the operatives were working for Islamic State (ISIS) and were planning to execute a terror plot in Ahmedabad during the Gujarat elections.

Security across Gujarat has been intensified today after the Election Commission finally announced the schedule for the Gujarat Assembly elections. In Gujarat, the voting for 182-seats will take place in two phases on December 9 and 13 while counting of votes will take place on December 18. The same day results for Himachal Pradesh Assembly elections will also be declared. The ISIS operatives are identified as Kasim and Obaid, both residents of Surat. Kasim was planning to abscond to Jamaica after executing the blast.

As per the information, the two ISIS operatives were planning to execute a blast in Ahmedabad's Khadia area. Kasim was employed with a hospital as a technician, while Aabed worked as a lawyer.

The cops are also on a hunt for two more accused who are on a run.

The duo have been identified as Qasim and Obaid who were in touch with ISIS through social media.  They even conducted recce at some religious places in the state. They have been inspired by terrorist Abdul al-Fazal and were planning to flee the country after executing their plan. Meanwhile, Kerala police too have arrested three youngsters for their suspected links with ISIS. The arrested were K C Mithilaj, K V Abdul Rasaq, AV Rasheed all in their early twenties. All three were natives of Valapattanam, who returned from Turkey a few days ago.

According to police, all three received training in Istanbul and were trying to sneak into Syria. However, this bid was foiled by the Turkish Special Forces and were deported to India. All three were under police surveillance since they returned from Turkey. Some intelligence sources also hinted that two more people were detained by the local police. The investigation is currently coordinated by Kannur DY SP.

In 2016, five men were arrested from Kanakamala in Kannur by NIA while they were allegedly conspiring a terror plot. In June same year, a group of 21 people (#Kerala21) who went missing from Kerala were reported to have joined ISIS in Syria and Afghanistan.

2 ISIS Suspects, Allegedly Plotting Ahmedabad Synagogue Attack, Arrested

Updated: October 26, 2017 09:42 IST (NDTV)

Ahmedabad:  Two suspected ISIS operatives were on Wednesday arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), who claimed that they were plotting an attack on a Jewish synagogue in Khadia area of Ahmedabad in "very near future". The suspects, arrested in Surat, have been identified as Mohammad Kasim Stimberwala and Ubed Ahmed Mirza, an official said.

While Stimberwala used to work as a laboratory technician with a hospital in Ankleshwar town, Mirza is a practicing lawyer with the Surat district court and also owns a hotel there. They were booked under for criminal conspiracy, waging or attempt to wage war against Government of India and other charges, an official said.

According to the complaint registered by the ATS, the two men have been radicalised by the ideology of the ISIS and were planning to carry out a 'lone-wolf' attack on the synagogue, for which Stimberwala had visited Ahmedabad and conducted a recce of the Jewish centre located in Khadia area.

ATS officials believe that Srimberwala and Mirza are "highly radicalised by the fundamental ideology of the ISIS for the last many years and are actively planning to cause terrorist acts".

Both the suspected operatives of the ISIS were under the influence of Abdullah el-Faisal, a radical preacher based in Jamaica, the official said quoting the FIR. As per the complaint, el-Faisal was earlier convicted for allegedly spreading hatred in the UK and then deported to Jamaica. He was detained in Jamaica on the charges of persuading youths to travel to Syria to take up the cause of Jihad.

Surveillance of their social media accounts had revealed that the duo were attracted to the extreme ideology since the last three-four years, according to the complaint. They were also in contact with one Shafi Armar, an ISIS handler who is wanted in various cases of serial blasts triggered by Indian Mujahideen (IM) and is currently believed to be out of India, the official said.

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani links arrested ISIS terrorists with Ahmed Patel, Cong hits back

October 27, 2017 | UPDATED 13:20 IST  (India Today)

The arrest of 2 suspected ISIS terrorists by Gujarat Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) a few days ago has sparked off a war of words between the BJP and the Congress. After it emerged that one of the ISIS terrorists was working in Ankleshwar's Sardar Patel Hospital in Bharuch, Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani demanded Congress leader Ahmed Patel's resignation, saying he was one of the trustees of that hospital till 2014 and hence must be held accountable.

Rupani alleged that Ahmed Patel was part of the inauguration of the renovated Sardar Patel Hospital in Bharuch along with the then President Pranab Mukherjee. According to a statement issued by the hospital, one of the arrested terrorists - Mohammad Qasim - was hired in accordance with its usual recruitment process. He had resigned on October 4 this year and the hospital had accepted his resignation. The hospital claims it was not aware of his links with terrorists. "We believe and work for humanitarian causes and condemn terrorism and terrorist activities", the statement said.


ATS probes ISIS suspects, Kasim Stimberwala, Ubed Mirza's links

The two arrested men - Stimberwala Kasim alias Abu Hamza and Ubed Mirza- had conducted recce of the synagogue and also met a few local boys. The purpose of meeting the local boys though not clear, the ATS have identified one the boys who met with Kasim and Ubed.

ATS right now are probing whether Hamza and Ubed have managed to radicalise the boys they met in the city. Police sources claim that Hamza and Ubed were in regular contact with five persons in Surat- Shahid, Shabir, Mohammad, Sarfaraz and Atiq. The ATS is probing whether these five were radicalised by the arrested duo and if they have been assigned the job of recruiting more youths. Shabir and Shahid were tasked with procuring weapons from Mohammed by Hamza and Ubed. Further investigation revealed that, four youths from Kolkata were brainwashed and were planning to go to Iraq to join ISIS fighters in 2014.

Hamza and Ubed played an active role in radicalising these youths. Ubed and Hamza were also tasked with helping the four, who were planning to cross into Bangladesh on August 28, 2014 with lodging and other expenses. The boys from Bangalore came in contact with one Shazia, who identified herself has a friend of Hamza and was involved in moving them across Bangladesh Border. However, the four were arrested by Kolkata police before they crossed the border.

That apart Hamza and Ubed were also in contact with one Zabiullah in Tamil Nadu who has been tasked with recruiting new members into the terrorists’ fold. Zabiullah was also instructed by Hamza and Ubed to identify Jewish targets in Bangalore. ATS have written to NIA to take over the case as the arrested ISIS agents had been planning strikes across the country.

IS operatives were recruiting more youth

Updated: Oct 27, 2017, 08:20 AM IST, (DNA)

As per the officials, the duo were in constant contact with there IS handler Shafi Armar alias Zahed-al-Hindi. They were also in contact with Abdullah el Faisal, a radical preacher through Facebook and WhatsApp, and were planning to move to Syria to join the terror group. Police recovered a 128-GB pen drive and a Samsung Galaxy Note-4 handset from Stimberwala's possession. The Samsung device's WhatsApp chats revealed that he had shared various posts pertaining to the Islamic State and related development with Mirza. He had also contacted Abdullah-el-Faisal of Jamaica and discussed various facts related to IS.

The pen drive contained videos released by the IS, mujahideen videos of Taliban, volumes of different IS publications, and statements by Abu-Mohammed al-Adani, who is IS' official spokesperson.

The suspects also revealed the names of the other three Surat youth, identified as Sarfaraz, Shabbir, and Shahid, all of whom were allegedly motivated by the duo to join the terror group. The duo would upload images and videos on Facebook to motivate and recruit Muslim youth to IS. ATS officers are also said to have found links and videos from Ubed's account relating to IS.

The transcript of an October 15, 2017, phone conversation between Ubed and one his associates, Shahid, recorded by the techincal and physical surveillance team of ATS by tapping their phones is as follows:

Ubed: Kahaan hai Kasim (Where is Kasim)?
Shahid: Kasim wahi hai Botawala me(He is in Botawala, a mosque according to ATS)
Ubed: Abhi tak wahi hai, kya Khabar Mufti Saab ko pakka Mujahid banna ke hi chhodega wo (seems he will turn mufti sir into a mujahid)
Shahid: Achcha hai na (That's Good)
In another conversation, Stimberwala advised Shabbir not to discuss sensitive issues over the phone.
"Arey bhai tu ye sab phone pe mat puchch gande, mai tereko mil ke batata hu chal (Brother, don't talk about it over the phone, will let you know in person)," Stimberwala said.

IS operative finds love in Kolkata

Updated: Oct 28, 2017, 10:10 IST (Times of India)

A love story came to light during interrogation of alleged IS operative, Kasim Stimberwala. Stimberwala. He and Shazia , who belongs to Kolkata, fell in love and were motivated by Zayedal Hindi alias Shafi Armar, former Indian Mujahideen terrorist and native of Bhatkal in Karnataka, and had decided to move to Syria after marriage.

Sources in the ATS said Stimberwala comes from a poor family and used to earn his living as an echo-cardiogram technician at a trust-owned hospital in Ankleshwar. His mother and he used to live in a rented house in Badekhan Chakla in Surat.

"In 2013, Kasim and Shazia came in contact on a social media site. After chatting for a long time, both developed a liking for each other and later fell in love. Kasim also visited Kolkata to meet her occasionally," said an ATS official. ATS officials further said that in 2014, Kasim and Shazia, who had been radicalised, came in contact with Shafi Armar alias Zyed al Hindi of Islamic States of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on social media.

"Kasim and Shazia decided to spread the ideology of the Caliphate," an ATS official said. "In 2014, Shafi Armar lured four Hyderabad youths to join the IS. The youths were to move to Syria."
They were contacted by Shazia who arranged for their fake passports for which they would have to cross over to Bangladesh. "But the youths were caught before they could cross over to Bangladesh," the ATS official said.


Zabiullah tipped off Mirza, Stimberwala

Oct 29, 2017, 09:55 IST (Times of India)

The case of the two alleged ISIS suspects, Ubaid Mirza and Kasim Stimberwala, who were arrested by the Gujarat ATS could soon be transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Senior police officers said they will soon write to the state home department to transfer of the case.

Senior ATS officials said Stimberwala joined the hospital in March 2017 and resigned on October 4, stating a foreign trip as the reason. Stimberwala was relieved one day before he was arrested by Gujarat ATS.

ATS sources said it emerged during interrogation that Mirza had bought a sophisticated firearm from Chauman village on the border of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh from a man named Uruz.

"We have yet not recovered the weapon as Mirza, a lawyer, was tipped off by his associate Zabiullah of Tamil Nadu about the impending crackdown. Stimberwala and Mirza's named popped up when Zabiullah was being questioned by a security agency. Zabiullah then alerted Mirza a month ago, that they were being scrutinized by security agencies," added an ATS official.

According to ATS sources, once alerted, Mirza and Kasim decided to dispose of the weapon and escape to Jamaica, where they were take shelter with the alleged radi cal preacher Abdullah el Faisal, who was born Willaim Forrest. "Forrest is currently under detention in Jamaica," an ATS official added.  

"Apart from procuring a weapon, Mirza and Stimberwala asked a friend who is currently in Dubai to bring a butchers knife. This was their Plan B. If the shooting attempt failed, they would use the knife to kill Jewish people," said an ATS official.

Surat Mufti picked up for questioning

Gujarat ATS on Saturday picked up Mufti Ishaq of the Botawala Masjid for questioning in the ISIS conspiracy case against Ubaid Mirza and Kasim Stimberwala. He was allowed to leave later in the night. ATS sources confirmed that questioned Mufti Ishaq and will soon record his statement.According to sources, Kasim attempted to radicalize Mufti Ishaq on more than one occasion. "We have to question and record statements of those who Kasim and Ubaid contacted and asked to join ISIS," added an ATS official.

ISIS handlers arrested from Gujarat lured youths by citing atrocities in Kashmir, conflict in Myanmar

Updated: Oct 29, 2017, 07:47 AM IST, (DNA)

Mohammed Qasim Stimberwala and Ubed Ahmed Mirza had been propagating the ISIS ideology for the last three years. The intelligence agencies are in possession of hours of chatter, wherein the duo can be heard prompting the young minds to take up the cause of ISIS.

The duo first came on the radar in 2014, while they were facilitating the travel of four Hyderabad youths to Turkey. They were to later cross over to Syria to join the ISIS. The police FIR mentioned that the four youths got a call from a woman named Shazia, who introduced herself as Qasim's friend and gave them directions.

The four were apprehended in Kolkata by a team of Telangana Police in August, 2014, and were made to go through a de-radicalisation programme. One of them was later arrested for making another attempt to join ISIS.

"We had been tracking the two for three years. They were not arrested as part of a strategy as several other sympathisers and recruits were identified through them," an intelligence officer said.

"Initially, they did not reveal their identities and claimed they were outside India. But once they were convinced, they told us that they were from Gujarat. After convincing us to join the ISIS, they arranged for our travel and gave us directions. We were told to contact a person who would help us cross over to Bangladesh. They also gave contact details of people in Turkey, who would help us to go to Syria," he said.

"They also put us in touch with a person from Dubai, who sent us money," another de-radicalised recruit said. Mirza, who used Hafio Ahmed as a pseudonym on Facebook, claimed to be based in Mosul, Iraq. This account has now been shut down by Facebook but intelligence agencies have kept a record of his posts.

"The Kashmiris haven't learned that without the call for Sharia, unity is not possible," he wrote on July 8, 2016. Then again, replying to a comment, he wrote, "They should start a full-fledged war, only then will other Muslims from other parts of the world will join them." "Don't celebrate Independence Day. Remain a Muslim," another of his Facebook post stated.

The duo was also in touch with an air hostess, who would help them with gold smuggling to raise funds for their terror activities. The arrested handlers were in contact with Shafi Armar alias Zahid al-Hindi, who is said to have joined ISIS in Syria. Qasim was also planning to leave for hijrat to Jamaica and meet a radical preacher, Abdullah el-Faisal, who had been guiding them, the police said.