Tuesday, 15 September 2015

New details emerge of Facebook IS propagandist Afsha Jabeen, had "two Syrian handlers"

Update (December 19) Suspected ISIS operative Mohammad Sirajuddin (30), an Mtech, and alleged ISIS recruiter Afsha Jabeen alias Nicole alias Nicky Joseph (38), a graduate, knew each other through online activities and were part of the same group of indoctrinators, a highly placed source in the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) said. The source, however, added that maulana Hafij Mujib (26), arrested in November by Maharashtra ATS, is not part of the same ISIS group and belonged to another group of indoctrinators.

A team of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is in Rajasthan and is interrogating Sirajuddin along with officials from the Rajasthan ATS. The ATS is questioning him about his links with other Indians in the country who he was trying to indoctrinate. It is not clear yet if he managed to indoctrinate more youngsters like the 16-year-old girl from Pune. However, one thing made clear by sources was that Sirajuddin and Jabeen belong to the same group.

Sirajuddin was working as a marketing manager of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) in Jaipur. He hails from Gulbarga in Karnataka. Just like Sirajuddin, Jabeen was using Facebook to spread the propaganda of ISIS and recruit youngsters. The duo made several personal groups on Facebook using fictitious names to spread propaganda. Jabeen had radicalised Salman Mohiuddin who had started visiting ISIS websites and had started spreading the cause of ISIS.

Update (November 1) Afsha Jabeen and her family was living illegally in Dubai since 2009 as their visas had expired and they didn't have money to extend their visas. Jabeen, told the Intelligence Bureau officials that they "owed huge amount to immigration authorities in Dubai for regularization of their stay" there.

Jabeen lived in the localities of Satwa, Al-Karama and Al-Nahda in Dubai since 2006. "After reaching Dubai, we faced a lot of problems from our sponsor as he demanded 10,000 dirhams to sponsor visas for us," Jabeen told interrogators. Senior officials said that Jabeen and her family required to extend their visas for which they had to pay money to a contact person.

"Due to this problem (money), we did not get visa and we stayed illegally from 2009 onwards," she said.

Talking about her stay in UAE, Afsha told interrogators, "I was suffering from hypothyroidism due to which I conceived and gave birth to a premature baby (girl) in May 2012. Similarly, my third daughter was born prematurely in November 2013. Due to birth of my two immature babies, we suffered a lot financially as my babies were kept in incubators for two months each. As we were unable to pay the medical bills, the hospital kept our passports as security".

She further says that "we owed huge amount to immigration authorities in Dubai for regularization of our stay".

Update (October 19) 9 IS Members in India, Jabeen names IS recruitment operations in India

Jabeen, who had allegedly tried to recruit youths for the terror outfit Islamic State, has told intelligence officials that there are nine active members of IS in India. They are currently under close observation. However, an intelligence official from TS said that the situation was not very serious. “Though she said there are active members, it’s not so serious on ground level,” the officer said.
Thirty-eight-year-old Jabeen has said that out of these nine active members, two are from Mumbai while the others are from Hyderabad, Bengaluru and J&K.
Jabeen has also disclosed names of a few potential IS recruitment organisations that are operational in India.

Update (September 17) India's external intelligence agency RAW is posed to interrogate Jabeen.


Update (September 16) May be Taken to Kashmir
Jabeen is likely to be taken to Kashmir to verify her connection with a person named Bakaar, whom she was in touch with for a long time, like she had been with Salman Mohiuddin. Investigation officials are now verifying if Bakaar is a Lashkar operative. She had also been chatting with another person from Delhi
“Her husband used to go for work and her daughters would go to school. Since she had nothing much to do at home, she got into the habit of browsing extremist websites  and got inspired,” said a senior police official from Shamshabad.
"We have contacted the Delhi police and the Kashmir police to track down the two youngsters with whom she was constantly chatting. As per their inputs we will know how much Jabeen had taken forward her plan to send them to the IS," said a senior police official.


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New details have emerged of Facebook Islamic State propagandist Afsha Jabeen alias Nicky Joseph including the revelation that she has 2 "Syrian[IS] handlers." Although a trove of details has emerged from her interrogation, Jabeen is described as " very sharp" and used social media "carefully to avoid suspicion," said one official. She had been under police surveillance for
9 months, after the arrest of her alleged lover Moinuddin in January 2015.

Though Afsha told Salman that she was a British national living in Dubai and was married to cardiologist Aforaly Paul, Indian sleuths who monitored her online activity and cross-verified her details with external intelligence
agencies of UAE and UK, realised that Nicky Joseph was none other than Afsha Jabeen of Tolichowki, Hyderabad.

Personal history

Afsha, daughter of Abdus Salam and Rafath Salam, told the police that her family belongs to Sunni/Hanfi sect. Abdus used to run Dreamland Stationary & Printing Press in Abu Dhabi. When she was four, Afsha left the country along with her family and went to Abu Dhabi. After finishing her graduation from Shadan College in
1999, Afsha married Devendra Kumar Batra alias Mohammed Mustafa, a Dubai-based realtor
from Himayatnagar in Hyderabad. Batra is a Hindu convert to Islam. The couple have 3 daughters.

After giving birth to her first child while living in Abu Dhabi, the housewife used to have lots of free time, police officers probing the case of Ms. Afsha said.
With her husband Mohammed Mustafa being away at his work place, she used to browse the Internet during the free time and extensively studied discussions posted by Islamic scholars.


Husband 'warned her on several occasions'

During questioning, police came to know that her husband Mustafa was aware of her activities
 in support of the IS and even warned her on several occasions.

"Jabeen's husband warned her several times after learning about her activities for ISIS and even told her to disassociate herself from such actions. However, she was too deep into such activities and continued her online adventures,'' a senior officer of the Telangana
police told TOI.

While police believe that Devender has no IS links, it is not clear how Afsha got influenced by IS and began working as one of the outfit's online recruiters. "Devender knew very little about her IS links and we came to know that he told her at least once not to spend too much time talking to people on various Facebook groups," said an Intelligence official.

Social media

Jabeen proved a tough nut to crack as she gave evasive answers and did not disclose details sought by the investigators. Prior to the birth of the ISIS, she was a strong votary of the right-wing ideology and it
only aggravated after she found sympathizers on social media. She started several ISIS sympathetic groups on various social media networks, police said.

Change of heart or whitewashing attempt ?

After the brutal acts of the ISIS came to light, she reportedly realized that the outfit's activities were not in conformity of the teachings of Islam and for the last few months, she kept away from these activities, the source added. However, this claim could be an attempt to whitewash her past. She had deleted her social media activites in paranoia after the arrest of Moinuddin on January 2015.

Meeting Moinuddin


Afsha Jabeen alias Nicky Josepha, told police that she first met Salman in 2010 via Facebook. "In an online post, I wrote Ali [the son-in-law of the Prophet P.B.U.H] without a suffix RZ and Salman corrected me. I got introduced to Salman's YouTube channel and started liking him. I shared my social media IDs with him and we regularly used to share our views on various issues related to Islamic State," Afsha confessed to the RGI Airport police.

In 2010, Afsha created FB group "Islam vs Christianity Friendly Discussion" for propagating Islam and
to clarify doubts of Christians about her religion. To manage the account, Afsha said that she assumed
the pseudonym, Nicky Joseph, and requested Salman to be the admin. Salman accepted the request. Since then,
the two were in regular touch till police arrested Salman at the RGIA in January 2015 while he was about to
 board a flight to meet her with a strong motive to join the ISIS.

"The FB group became very popular with over 50,000 followers, but in 2014 it was blocked for posting ISIS-related content. But, immediately, I started another group with the same name," Afsha said. Salman also used to operate four FB groups — "Daula News Room" (Islamic State News Room), "Moderators Vs Liberals", "Daula Islamia" (Islamic State) and "Revelations and Hadith". Salman made Afsha admin of all these groups, police said.

Investigators tried to corroborate Salman Mohiuddin's confession with Nicky Joseph and questioned her to
gather details of her two Syrian handlers, but their efforts went in vain as she gave evasive answers. It is learnt that several conversations Jabeen had with various persons were erased before she came to India and police were trying to retrieve them. Her deportation to India was the fallout of the recent visit of Prime Minister Narender Modi to the UAE, as she figured among the several wanted persons in the list prepared by intelligence agencies.

She was arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and 153-A (promoting enmity between groups) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Information Technology Act.

'Strong supporter' of ISIS

Syrian President Assad

 "I am a strong supporter of ISIS and impressed by their activities as they effectively stopped Syrian ruler [Bashar Al] Assad from committing atrocities against Sunni Muslims and wanted to establish sharia law," Afsha reportedly said in her confession. It is an established fact that Assad's survival is due to the continued support from the Sunni populations that live under Government control, including Syrian Army soldiers, most of whom are Sunni conscripts.

Most of the SAA strength is Sunni.
Afsha told police that after Salman's arrest, she got scared and deleted her online identities. "While chatting on FB groups, I used to motivate gullible youth from India through videos of ISIS activities. I used to post in my group saying that Indian Muslims are being ruled by non-believers and there is a need to spread the geographical area of ISIS caliphate with Muslim youth supporters," Afsha confessed.

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