Saturday, 19 December 2015

ISIS operatives Mohammad Sirajuddin, Afsha Jabeen were part of same group

Mumbai: 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 of indoctrinators.
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.
Jabeen was arrested by Hyderabad police in September this year after she was deported from Abu Dhabi and landed by flight in Shamshabad. She said to have recruited Mohiuddin in ISIS, who was arrested earlier this year. Jabeen’s family comprises her husband Devendra Batra alias Mustafa and three daughters. She lives in Tolichowki in Hyderabad.

On the other hand, the maulana arrested from Pusad town in Yeotmal had plans of sending youngster Abdul Malik to Afghanistan to get ‘Al Qaeda level’ training. Malik was arrested for stabbing a constable. The maulana was also in touch with Shoeb alias Tariq Bhai (24) from Hingoli, who was out on bail after being arrested by Hyderabad police last year allegedly because he was a sympathiser of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India.
ATS to crack down on propagandists
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is planning to crack down on ISIS sympathisers who are sharing propaganda material in Maharashtra on the Internet to further the Caliphate movement. The ATS said that this year there has been a rise in the number of websites spreading ISIS propaganda and, in order to curb the radical indoctrination on the Internet to create lone wolves, it is planning to crack down on those persons who are spreading the cause of ISIS in Maharashtra.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, a senior Maharashtra ATS official said, “There are many people who read ISIS’s content. Some accidentally reach its website, some read out of curiosity. There are others who sympathise with ISIS, but the ones that are spreading the message of the group by spreading its propaganda on the Internet are definitely violating the law. They can be booked under the IT Act. We are also contemplating whether or not we can book them under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.”
Apart from the cyber cell of the Mumbai crime branch, there is a special cyber cell of the Maharashtra ATS. Both cells on a daily basis keep a tab on the online content being uploaded by ISIS operatives across the globe. “Around 60 to 80 online websites that have ISIS propaganda have been blocked by us this year. This number has risen by a big margin as compared to last year. New websites keep cropping up, but we are doing our best,” said the senior ATS official. Lately, the ISIS has come out with an e-book, which explains its cause. The senior ATS official said, “There is nothing new in it. It is similar to other ISIS propaganda material.”

Maulana Moinuddin Ashraf from Mumbai said, “We should not call them ISIS but NISIS i.e. Non-Islamic State of Iran [sic] and Syria. If I claim to be the president of the US, will people call me Mr. US President? They (ISIS) are against Islam and against humanity. We are working on a large-scale to stop emotional and gullible youngsters from falling prey to NISIS. All maulanas of masjids are condemning NISIS. They NISIS is fighting over land and are killing innocents. There is a lot of anger in Muslims because of NISIS, as they are maligning our religion.”

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