Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Yazdani Hyderabad ISIS Cell Busted, 6 Arrested, 5 Detained: Updates

NIA busts ISIS module in Hyderabad- 11 arrested, explosives, Rs 15 lakh cash seized

In a major operation conducted by the National Investigation an alleged module of the ISIS in Hyderabad has been busted. NIA officials tell OneIndia that they have arrested 11 persons and seized Rs 15 lakh in cash apart from arms and explosives. The raids come exactly 5 months after the NIA had arrested four persons in Hyderabad for their alleged links with the ISIS.

In the operation that was conducted today, the NIA learnt that these persons were planning on carrying out attacks in Hyderabad and near by areas. They had stocked up arms and explosives and were planning on striking soon, NIA officials also informed.

NIA officials also say that the raid and the arrests were carried out on the basis of both investigations and intercepts. Officials had learnt that these persons were in touch with some persons in Syria who are suspected to be their handlers. The 11 persons are not being questioned by the NIA.
NIA officials say that they suspect that these persons wanted to carry out a series of blasts in Hyderabad in a bid to announce the arrival of the ISIS in the city. They were planning a coordinated operation, officials further informed. The NIA also says that these persons could have been in touch with other members and were planning blasts in other parts of the country as well.

The names of the arrested members are:
  1.  Muzaffar Hussain Rizwan , 29. Alias: 'Abu Hasan'. Role was that of 'Mahasib'  or account keeper.
  2. Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani, 30. Alias: 'Abu Abdur Rahman' and was tasked to be 'Raa'bit' (communcation incharge).
  3. Mohammad Illyas Yazdani, 24. Alias: 'Abu Mansoor' and was the religious affairs incharge.
  4. Habib Mohammed, 32. Alias: 'Abu Shaiba' and was the 'Askari' (in-charge of matters relating to firearms), 
  5. Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Amoodi, 31.


Busted Hyderabad ISIS module first in India which was ready to strike

New Delhi, June 29: Among the various ISIS modules that were busted by the NIA in recent times the one busted in Hyderabad today was the only that came close to executing the job.

The NIA had busted several modules in January this year, but had found that none of them had been able to procure weapons and blasting material. These were only in the discussion stages.

However in the busting of this module in which 6 have been arrested and 5 detained for questioning, the NIA has learnt that they were all set to undertake attacks.

Their focus area was Hyderabad, NIA officials say. During the questioning the NIA also learnt that they were planning on inciting communal tension by hurling beef into temples.

This module was ready to strike:

While this module worked in isolation, some of its members had wanted to network it along with the rest in India. However it was decided that they would first focus only on Hyderabad and announce the arrival of the outfit before moving on to the rest of the country.

The NIA found that the members of this module had operated in various parts of the city. Their areas of operation were Moghulpura, Chandrayangutta, Mir Chowk and Bhavaninagar.

All these areas fall in the Old City of Hyderabad. They had been working on the procurement of arms for long. This was in fact the only ISIS group in India which had managed to source IEDs and weapons. They were ready to strike, an NIA officer informed OneIndia.

The NIA team which has left for Delhi with the arrested men has also learnt that these persons planned on inciting communal tension in the city. They had planned on targeting temples. Further they had also planned on throwing beef in temples with an intention of inciting communal tensions.

Hyderabad raids: See how well prepared the alleged ISIS operatives were

New Delhi, June 30: An alleged module of the ISIS which was busted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) was well prepared and ready to strike at several locations in Hyderabad.

The NIA arrested five persons and is examining 6 others. Preliminary investigations revealed that they were planning to commit terrorist acts by targeting public places including religious sites, sensitive government buildings in Hyderabad and various parts of the country.

An NIA official had told OneIndia on Wednesday that this was the first module of the ISIS in India which was ready to strike. During the raid arms, ammunition and Rs 15 lakh in cash were seized.

What was found on the alleged operatives?

The persons who were arrested yesterday are Mohammad Ibrahim Yazdani, Habeeb Mohammad, Mohammad Ilyas Yazdani, Abdulla Bin Ahmed Al Amoodi and Muzzafar Hussain Rizwan. Six more are being examined in the case. They told NIA that they were taking orders from a person in Syria.

The NIA team found chemicals suspected to be Urea / Ammonium nitrate powder and their mixture with Sugar, as well as bottles containing mineral Acid, Acetone, Hydrogen Peroxide which are precursor substances for making deadly explosive substances.

Further two semi-automatic pistols with ammunition have been recovered during the search. An airgun with telescopic sight and shooting practice target boards have also been seized during searches. In addition, a large number of digital items including six laptops, about 40 mobile phones, 32 SIM cards, and a large number of hard disks, memory cards, PEN drives, and digital tabs have been recovered.

Strange- What were two Shias doing in an ISIS module at Hyderabad

This could be a strange occurrence. The fight of the ISIS is largely against the Shia Muslims. However the NIA which arrested five youth yesterday found that two of them belonged to the Shia Muslim community. Two of them Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani and Mohammed Iliyas Yazdani from the Shia community were arrested by the NIA at Hyderabad yesterday.

If one looks at the battle of the ISIS, it is clear that their primary target are the Shia Muslims. When the ISIS commenced its battle in Iraq, it had targeted the Shias extensively. People would be stopped and interrogated and if it was found that they were from the Shia community a death sentence was awarded on the spot.

What were Shias doing in an alleged ISIS module?

The ISIS had said that the Shias are apostates and must die. In their death will a pure form of Islam be created, the ISIS had said. NIA officials who carried out search and seizure operations in Hyderabad yesterday also arrested five persons. The Yazdani brothers are from the Shia community and this did surprise the sleuths.

However the NIA says that they are not getting into this immediately as the focus of the probe is on the larger aspect. The youth who were arrested yesterday were part of an alleged ISIS module planning on targeting several high profile locations in Hyderabad and other parts of the country.

Meet the men who 'plotted' ISIS terror attack in Hyderabad

Hyderabad: Five Hyderabad-based people -- Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani alias Ibbu, Habeeb Mohammed alias Sir, Mohammed Ilyas Yazdani, Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Amoodi and Muzaffar Hussain Rizwan -- were arrested by NIA Tuesday after a series of searches at 10 locations in the city, with the assistance from Hyderabad Police.
The prime targets for the ISIS module in the city have been identified as Inorbit Mall and the IT zone in Madhapur.
In the several-hours-long raid, NIA officials seized target boards used for shooting practice, two pistols, an air gun, explosive substances (urea, acids and Hydrogen Peroxide) and other material used for making indigenous explosive devises (IEDs) besides Rs 15 lakh in cash which the arrested claimed was earned through trade.
Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani, 30, an engineer from Chatta Bazaar, and his brother Mohammed Iliyas Yazdani, 24, from Aman Nagar, were family friends of Fahed. The trio had started working together to attract other youngsters to IS.
Sources said that the explosives and arms were seized from the houses of the two brothers in Amannagar and Chatta Bazaar. Apart from these three, the NIA arrested  Mohammed Irfan aka Yaqus, 27, from Zahera Nagar, Mir Alam Mandi, and Habeeb Muhammmed, 32, from Yousuf Gulshan Colony, Hashamabad.
Here is what we know of the five arrested:

Mohammad Ibrahim Yazdani, 32
An engineering graduate from Anwarul Uloom College of Engineering and Technology, Irbahim’s parents passed away when he was young and was brought up by three of his elder brothers. After a brief stint in Middle East, he returned to Hyderabad and worked for a short time, following which he was unemployed.
Ibrahim reportedly learnt to create explosives from online manuals and amassed several litres of hydrogen peroxide over three months and bought utensils to prepare the mixtures.

Mohd Iliyas Yazdani, 24
A graduate in Computer Applications, Iliyas was nabbed with his elder brother Mohammad Ibrahim Yazdani, whom he visited daily. Like his brother, Iliyas spent a lot of time in front of the computer too. He worked part-time at a Mee Seva centre. Reports quoted relatives as saying that both brothers were mild-mannered and never showed aggressive behaviour.

Muzaffar Hussain Rizwan, 29

A tenant in Ibrahim Yazdani’s house, Hussain worked as a salesman at a shoe shop in Chatta Bazaar, where Ibrahim lives. He was reportedly very close to the Yazdani brothers.

Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Amoodi aka Fahad, 31

A BBA graduate, Fahad, who has a son, wowed many with his skills in refitting and remodelling motorcycles. Reportedly the brain behind the module, Fahad is credited to be the one who opened channels of communication with IS handler Shafi Armar. A quiet, reserved man, the NIA reportedly claimed that Fahad also stocked up on hydrogen peroxide and acetone, and trained in bomb-making in recent months.

Habeeb Mohammad, 32

A computer science engineer from Kakatiya University, Warangal, Habeeb lived at Yousuf Gulshan Colony of Chandrayangutta, an area from where at least four youths tried to go to Syria and join IS last year. He worked as a system’s administrator with an IT company before starting an Internet café. And the NIA revealed that he purchased two pistols from Nanded, and also visited Ajmer, allegedly to meet arms suppliers. Habeeb was reportedly scouting for assault rifles.

ISIS terrorists say they had plans for mass killing in Hyderabad

Updated Jul 1, 2016, 8:06 am 

Hyderabad: The five ISIS terror suspects, including brothers Ibrahim and Ilyas Yazdani, have confessed to National Investigation Agency and Telangana Intelligence officials that they had planned “mass killing” in Hyderabad before Id.
Their handler, Shafi Armar, was to give them final instructions on making live bombs from Syria over Skype or video call in one of their houses. “Shafi used to show how to make the bombs and they used electronic scales to weigh the IED ingredients,” said an official.
They were awaiting orders from Shafi and had tentatively fixed the evening of Saturday, July 2 to carry out the terror strikes in Hyderabad.

A source in the TS Intelligence department said, “They had purchased firearms and some explosives in Maharashtra and other chemicals like urea and Hydrogen Peroxide in Hyderabad. They had gloves, masks, electronic balance and other material to make Improvised Explosive Devices. This shows that they were ready to strike.”
NIA lets off six ISIS suspects after grilling
Six of the 11 people who were arrested by the NIA were released on Wednesday night after no evidence was found against them.
They were identified as Syed Naimath Ullah Hussaini alias Yaser Naimathullah, 42, from Moghalpura; Muzaffar Hussain Rizwan, 29, from Talabkatta; Mohd Ataullah Rahman, 30, from Bandlaguda; Mr Abdul alias al Jeelani Abdul Qader Mohsin Mahmood, 32, from Yousuf Gulshan Colony, Hashma-bad; A.M. Azhar, 20, from Talabkatta; and Moham-med Arbaz Ahmed, 21, from Keshogiri, Chand-rayanagutta.

Sources said that the six were picked up on suspicion that they were close to the five arrested IS men. NIA officials had also searched the houses of the six but had not found anything incriminating against them. They also do not have any criminal background.

Official sources said that no cases were registered against the six though they have been put under surveillance to verify some more details. Though they were released, most of them are staying away from their homes fearing stigma.

Azhar’s arrest was case of ‘mistaken identity’

Updated Jul 1, 2016, 2:45 am 

Hyderabad: City student A.M. Azhar, who was grilled by the National Investigation Agency, is shaken, as are his family members.
Azhar, 20, had just gone to bed after taking sehri on Wednesday when a group of NIA officials along with local police raided his house. He was asked to accompany them for an “inquiry”. After interrogating him for hours regarding his “ISIS connections”, he was released on Wednesday midnight as the NIA officials did not find any evidence against him.
Azhar was one of the six who were let off by the NIA after it became clear that they were not related to the five arrested ISIS men.
Azhar and his family feel that he was unnecessarily dragged into the case, which has left him stigmatised. Azhar says he was “mistakenly” picked up by NIA officials, who suspected him to be a part of the ISIS module because he used to go to the same mosque the suspects visited. This is what the family members of the others who were let off also said.
Azhar shaken after NIA quiz
“They searched my house and later questioned me about my connections with the five arrested people. I have only seen these people at a local mosque I frequent. I was not friends with them. I do not know them personally,” said Azhar.
The mosque Azhar visited is Muhammadi Masjid near the Bibi Bazaar Crossroads, where the intelligence officials apparently photographed him as part of intelligence gathering.

“It seems that he was photographed by Intellig-ence officials while he was parking his bike. He was seen by teh side one of the arrested people. We think that is how Azhar was marked by the NIA,” said his uncle Faheem Khan. A BCom third-year student in a city college, Azhar said that NIA officials thoroughly examined his phone contacts and other details about him, but found nothing suspicious.

“They behaved with me very politely. I think they could not find anything suspicious from me,” he said. Talking about the arrested ISIS men, Azhar said that he had no idea aware that they were such kind of people.

Arrested ISIS men planned to target prominent personalities

Updated Jul 1, 2016, 2:58 am 

Hyderabad: Apart from terrorist attacks at various places in the city, the five arrested ISIS men had also planned to target prominent personalities, stated the remand report submitted by the NIA at a court in Hyderabad on Thursday. NIA officials produced the five before the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge, Nampally, on Thursday evening who sent them to judicial custody for 14 days. They were shifted to the Cherlapally prison.

Intelligence sources said that the suspects had been asked by ISIS operatives in Syria to unleash violent attacks in the city before Id. According to the NIA remand report, the five had acquired explosives to carry out violent terrorist attacks.

“The members of this group were in constant touch with each other over Internet. Information was received that the members of the group were in contact with the ISIS. They were getting directions from (ISIS) for carrying out the attacks,” stated the remand report.

The report revealed that the Ministry of Home Affairs had issued an order under NIA Act on June 20, allowing the agency to book a case. On June 22, the NIA booked a case under Sections 121-A, 122 of IPC, Sections 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act and Sections 18, 18-B, 38, 39 of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

NIA officials told the court that the arrested were not subjected to any ill treatment and were taken to Group Centre, CRPF Hospital, Ranga Reddy district for medical examination.

The five, Mohammed Iliyas Yazdani, 24, from Talab Katta, Aman Nagar Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani, 30, from Chatta Bazaar, Lakkad Kote, Habeeb Mohammed, 32, from Yousuf Gulshan Colony, Hashamabad, Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Amoodi aka Fahad, 31, from Punch Mohalla, Charminar, and Mohammed Irfan aka Yaqais Irfan, 27, from Mir Alam Mandi, were arrested on Wednesday.

NIA officials are likely to seek 30 days’ custody of the suspects to probe the charges. Superintendent of police Mr L.R. Kumar is handling the case. Intelligence sources also said that Yazdani had learnt bombmaking by watching online videos adding that the module ahd stored explosives and weapons in the kitchen and practised shooting in the basement.
Sources added that Ibrahim and Habib spent Rs 65,000 for the purchase of weapons at Nanded and had visited Patna and Roorkee to check out weapons.

Arrest of six ISIS operators creates flutter in Karimnagar

Updated Jul 1, 2016, 6:41 am 

Karimnagar: The arrest of six ISIS operators by the NIA in Hyderabad on Wednesday created a flutter in the city. Mohammad Irfan, one of the arrested, is from Karimnagar.

Mr Irfan was among the youths who were detained by security forces when crossing the India-Bangladesh border for joining ISIS in the past. He was counselled by NIA and was handed over to his parents. However, he was again attracted to the outfit.  This B.Tech student left home in 2014, without informing his parents. Later, his parents lodged a missing complaint with police.

It is learnt that Intelligence submitted a report stating that terror  groups have set up 92 sleeper cells in the district. This has created tension among the public. Karimnagar witnessed its first terror attack in a cinema hall way back in 2000. It was triggered by Azam Ghori, an ISI commander from Pakistan on February 7, 2000. He was killed in an encounter at Jagtial on April 5 the same year.

ISIS Hyderabad: The thought is scarier than the explosives the operatives had

New Delhi, July 1: The attack in Paris was big and while it did cause immense amount of damage, it sent across a very dangerous message to the world. The message was the ISIS has gone global and an attack could take place anywhere and any time. Two days back, five persons from Hyderabad were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for being part of an alleged ISIS module.

There was an explosive called triacetone triperoxide found on these persons. The same explosive was found during the Paris and Belgium attacks. While many have drawn the similarities to the attacks in Paris or Belgium, the fact is that this is not the scary part.
The worrying part is that they had drawn inspiration from the attacks in Paris and felt the need to replicate it in India.

Fear the thought not the explosives:

The ISIS is like cancer which spreads at a very rapid pace. After taking a hit in Iraq and Syria it had become obvious that the outfit would go for a global outreach. Attacks in Paris, Belgium and Orlando were all part of the global outreach programme and the terrorists had drawn inspiration from the propaganda material that the outfit put up online.

The initial approach by India towards the ISIS may have been a bit casual. However today every one in the agencies say that the problem is real. The Hyderabad module was attempting to replicate what had happened in Paris and this is an indication that the message from France had spread across the world.

Now everyone inspired by the ISIS wants to carry out an attack and pledge their allegiance to the outfit. Now this is the frightening part since there is every chance that this could become a chain reaction.
The ISIS has been making attempts to stamp its authority in India too. A recent video calling for attacks in India. Messages on the social media telling Indian Muslims to replicate a Paris are all ways of instigating the youth.

What Indian agencies fear the most is that one small let up could lead to an attack. It may not be huge in nature, but it will be significant. One attack would act as an inspiration for others to replicate the same and that is where the real problem lies today.

Bomb Hyderabad between 5 pm and 7 pm: ISIS module had planned

Hyderabad, July 1: 5 pm to 7 pm was the targeted time for the strike. The crowds would be heavy and maximum damage could be inflicted. This is one of the many details that the National Investigation Agency has unearthed while probing the persons who were allegedly running an ISIS module in Hyderabad.

The NIA has learnt that they had planned a major attack in Hyderabad and it was decided that the time would be between 5 PM and 7 PM. This timing was planned with an intention of inflicting maximum damage. Orders were supposedly given by Shafi Armar who is said to be the head of the ISIS in India.

It was well planned out:

An NIA official part of the investigation informed OneIndia that the module had it all planned out. They could have struck the city on Wednesday itself had they not been arrested. Five persons were arrested and six others questioned by the NIA late on Tuesday. They were fully prepared and had everything at their disposal, the officer also noted.
These persons are alleged to have been planning attacks for several months. They were being watched closely by the Intelligence Bureau for nearly an year. These persons had procured weapons from Nanded from a person who was supplying for the Indian Mujahideen also.
At first two of those arrested went to Ajmer to source the weapons. They had carried with them Rs 65,000 but the person did not turn up.
They then decided to go and meet another contact in Nanded, Maharashtra. Out there they managed to source the weapons, the NIA has learnt.

The reason why these persons had gone so far to source weapons is because the sources in these places were trusted and have over the years supplied to the Indian Mujahideen also.

A Caliphate in Hyderabad: NIA probe on ISIS module reveals

Hyderabad, July 4: The five persons arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with an ISIS case said during their questioning that they had no plans of traveling to Syria.
Five persons were arrested by the NIA from Hyderabad last week for allegedly setting up a module in the name of the ISIS.

The NIA had said that arms and ammunition had been recovered from them and they were planning a series of attacks in Hyderabad. However during the questioning they were asked whether they had planned on traveling to Syria, but all of them answered in the negative.

Will set up Caliphate in India

As per the investigations the five persons had planned on carrying out a blast in Hyderabad and then announcing the arrival of the ISIS. They had planned on setting up the Caliphate in India, they told the NIA. None of them had any plans on traveling to either Iraq or Syria, NIA officials informed Oneindia.

They also said during their questioning that there was a preacher who had motivated them. The NIA says that the preacher is under their scanner and is being questioned for more leads. The NIA has also learnt that the immediate plan was to carry out two blasts at crowded malls in Hyderabad. Further they had also planned assassination bids on several persons. They also said that they had planned on escaping after these attacks as was instructed to them by their handler Shafi Armar.

Hyd IS module case: NIA recovers bullets, computers

New Delhi, Jul 5: Taking forward its probe into the activities of Islamic State (IS) following the arrest of its five alleged operatives in Hyderabad, the NIA today searched various locations in the city and recovered 17 rounds of ammunition, besides computers and scanners which were used for online communication.

According to the NIA, the premises of one of the arrested operatives Ibrahim was searched at Talab Katta from where a computer and scanner were seized. The equipment were allegedly used by those arrested to keep in touch with other suspected members of the IS.

At the instance of Ibrahim, the anti-terror probe agency carried out searches at the residence of another accused Habeeb in Barkas area of Hyderabad and recovered 17 live rounds of 9 mm calibre.
The NIA conducted searches at Bhawani Nagar in Talab Katta where another computer and scanner were seized, officials said, adding one of the arrested operatives Ilyas told his interrogators that the system was used to scan the written 'oath of allegiance' to the IS Caliph the group had signed scanned and mailed to their handler.
The group had given itself 'Kunyat' (aliases) for organisational purposes and also assigned tasks among themselves.
Rizwan was coded as 'Abu Hasan' and assigned the job of 'Mahasib' (account keeper), Ibrahim got the name 'Abu Abdur Rahman' who was tasked to be 'Raa'bit' (communcation incharge), Illyas Yazdani was 'Abu Mansoor' and was the religious affairs incharge.
Habeeb Mohammed assumed the alias of 'Abu Shaiba' and was the 'Askari' (in-charge of matters relating to firearms), while Fahad became 'Abu Haleema' and was yet to be assigned any task when they were arrested.
All the five are in the NIA custody for 14 days since June 30. The agency has alleged that the five had acquired weapons and explosive materials to carry out terrorist attacks and were in touch with the banned Islamic State.
They were getting directions for planning and executing terrorist activities from IS, which has captured various towns and cities in Iraq and Syria. The NIA had on June 22 lodged a common FIR against IS for "criminal conspiracy to wage war against the Government of India" by collecting weapons and explosive materials to target public places, religious sites and sensitive government buildings in various parts of country.

According to the Central agency, the gang was preparing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) for carrying out blasts, and was being guided by an online handler, suspected to be based in Iraq or Syria.

Besides explosive material, the agency had recovered two semi-automatic pistols, ammunition, an air gun with telescopic sight and shooting practice target boards, a large number of digital gadgets including six laptops, about 40 mobile phones, 32 SIM cards, and a large number of hard disks, memory cards, pen drives and tabs during its searches.

NIA arrests 2 more from Hyderabad in ISIS case

Hyderabad, July 12: The ongoing investigations being conducted by the National Investigation Agency has led to the arrest of two more suspected ISIS sympathisers from Hyderabad.
The number of arrests is now 7. The NIA had last month arrested 5 persons from Hyderabad for alleged links with the ISIS.The arrested persons are Yasir Niamatullah and Athaullah Rehman. The NIA accuses them of raising funds.

During the course of the investigations that were conducted, the name of two more persons had cropped up. NIA officials say that these arrests are part of the ongoing probe into the terror conspiracy. Investigations had revealed that these persons who had pledged their allegiance to the ISIS had planned on carrying out two major blasts in Hyderabad. It was found that they had sourced the material well in advance and were ready to carry out the attacks.

The NIA had said that of all the cases that they had investigated relating to the ISIS, this was the only module that was ready to strike.
NIA officials say that investigations are on and some more youth are on the radar. We are in the process of getting more information and more arrests are likely, the official also added.

An English teacher from Hyderabad who administered oath of allegiance to ISIS

Investigations being conducted by the NIA show that these men were determined that they will hit Hyderabad in a bid to announce the arrival of the ISIS.

The plan following the blast was to make an announcement and urge the like minded youth to help set up a Caliphate in the city.

The man who administered the oath

On Tuesday the NIA arrested two persons, Ataullah Rehman and Maimathullah Hussaini (NIA arrests 2 more from Hyderabad in ISIS case). While one has been termed as the chief of the module the other has been described as the fund raiser.
Ataullah Rehman alias Ghouse, aged 32 is an English teacher by profession. His fluency in Arabic also led him to taking a class in that language. It was at the house of Ibrahim Yazdani that he would coach students in Arabic.
It was out here that he along with Yazdani who is also under arrest decided to form a module. After gathering a bunch of like minded youth they got down to planning their next move. Before they formally formed the module, Ghouse administered the Bayáh (oath of allegiance). They pledged their full support to Abu Bakr al-Bhagdadi the self styled Caliph who heads the ISIS.

The other person who was arrested on Tuesday was Naimathullah Hussaini alias Yasir alias Abu Darda, aged 42. According to the NIA he was appointed as the Emir or head of the module in Hyderabad.
He has been accused by the NIA for collecting funds for the module. He works at a garments shop in Khairatabad area in Hyderabad.

NIA names ISIS handler for Hyderabad

Published Dec 10, 2016, 2:58 am IST

Hyderabad: ISIS operative Abu Isa al-Amriki, a foreigner who was killed in an air strike in Syria, has been identified by the NIA as the recruiter and handler of five Hyderabadi youth. The NIA will name Amriki in the chargesheet of the Hyderabad module of ISIS.
The NIA had arrested Ilyas Yazdani of Talabkatta; Ibrahim Yazdani of Chatta Bazaar; Habeeb Mohammed of Gulshan Colony; Abdulla bin Al Ahmed Amoodi of Charminar and Mohammed Irfan of Mir Alam Mandi.

The NIA said Ibrahim Yazdani while working in Saudi Arabia came in contact with a Jordanian who motivated him to join the ISIS. He then came in touch with Amriki.

Jordanian national radicalised Hyderabad ISIS suspect

25 Dec 2016-06:35am 

A deceased Jordanian man has emerged as the one behind "initiating" a Hyderabadi man into the fold of the jihadist ideology, an act which culminated in the formation of an Islamic State (IS)-affiliated group in India. The terrorist group later named itself the Jhund Ul Khalifa al-Hind Fl Bilad or Army of the Caliph in south India.

A charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday stated that it was between June 2013 and 2014 that Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani, 30, met Jordanian national who went by the name Suhayb Al Abudi. Ibrahim was then working at the Riyadh-based Bazee Trading Company and made friends with the Jordanian, who was also working in the same company.

According to the NIA, Abudi showed Ibrahim several videos of Syrian forces allegedly committing atrocities on Sunni Muslims. Through this, he convinced him that Syrian President Bashar Al Assad was the man responsible for these atrocities.

"He (Abudi) also argued that Bashar Al Assad, the Syrian President, was committing atrocities on Sunni Muslims in Syria and the lS was waging jihad against the Assad government. lbrahim Yazdani visited India in June, 2014 for two months, but he kept communicating with Suhayb Al Abudi on Facebook," reads the NIA document accessed by DNA.

According to the probe agency, when IS declared itself a Caliphate under Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in June 2014, and seized large areas in Syria and Iraq, Ibrahim was allegedly highly influenced by the declaration of the Caliphate and had come to a firm belief that it was every Muslim's bounden duty to perform Hijrah, i.e. migration to the Caliphate.
However, his plans hit a roadblock soon when he got to know that Abudi had been killed in Syria in September 2014. The news was broken to him by an individual named Sulaiman who identified himself as the brother of Abudi.

Subsequently, after months of following the changing geopolitical situation in Iraq and Syria on Twitter and other social media websites, Ibrahim managed to get in touch with a person who identified himself as, "Abu lssa Al Amriki," in January 2015.
It was Amriki who became the main handler of the Hyderabad module of IS and guided the group through Ibrahim. He advised the 30-year-old not to visit Syria or Iraq and instead directed that, "he should carry on the work of Allah from India itself."
Investigators have referred to the Hyderabad module as the most dangerous in India, citing factors like covert methods employed to recruit the youth, the way in which the members of the terrorist module communicated with each other, and the expertise of the IS handler and those employed to collect arms and ammunition.

Everything seemed to go as per plan as Ibrahim managed to recruit several youth from Hyderabad including his own younger brother — till June 29, the date when the NIA finally busted the module. But investigators say that interest in the Hyderabad module was on the wane with some youth, allegedly recruited by Ibrahim — and whose identities are protected by the NIA— left the group right before an alleged terror attack could have been carried. The chargesheet lists out four Protected Witnesses PW's, who were recruited by Ibrahim and other members of the Hyderabad module at some point of time.

In its charge sheet, NIA mentions a youth who was recruited and, "then grew fearful as he did not approve of the plans for the terrorist acts by the group. He then stage-managed his exit from the group by disappearing on the 15 May, 2016, by spreading a message that he was picked up by the police/NlA and questioned about his activities." This was more than a month before the group was busted.

NIA has claimed that even after his exit, the group continued to make plans of carrying terror attacks, but this was after disbanding for a period of five days.
Starting May 29, it was business as usual, with the members of the module given different duties, including collecting weapons, planning escape routes, collecting money, and so on. On June 19, three years after Ibrahim was initiated into the jihadist fold, held a meeting during an iftar at the home of another accused named Habeeb Mohammad.
It was on this day that Ibrahim, who himself was radicalized by Jordanian nationals, would try to do the same to two other individuals or protected witnesses. Ten days later, however the whole operation came at a staggering halt with NIA making the first arrest.

Yazdani failed ISIS attempt

Updated Dec 25, 2016, 2:42 am IST

Yazdani, who was working with Bazee Trading Company in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, had got acquainted with Jordanian national Suhayb Al Abudi, who showed him several videos and other propaganda materials of ISIS on the internet to convince him that the ISIS was fighting for a just cause.

“Even when Yazdani came for a break in India in 2014, he kept in touch with Suhayb Al Abudi on Facebook. Suhayb Al Abudi however went offline for some time. Later, Suhayb’s brother Sulaiman, in a chat with Yazdani (A-2), revealed that his brother had attained martyrdom in the lSlS-controlled area in September,” said the NIA chargsheet.
Death of Shayb had inspired Yazdani more and encouraged him to go to Syria. “In January-February 2015, Yazdani used his Twitter account to look for a contact who could help him go to Syria for Hijrah. He searched for hashtags the #lSlS, #Khalifa, #Dawlah, as suggested in the ISIS Dabiq magazine. He came across one Twitter identity in the name of “Abu lssa Al Amriki” who later guided him throughout the process,” said the charge-sheet.

Yazdani returned to India and tried to migrate to Syria but failed. He was told by his ISIS handlers to stay back and fight in India. Yazdani’s decision came after his handler in Syria told him to stay back in his country and do "Allah's work in India" instead of going to fight alongside ISIS in the war-torn country.

In its analysis of the group, the NIA states the accused are followers of the pure Salafi sect of lslam. Some of the group’s members are original ‘Ahle Hadeeth’ followers, while others got influenced and came into the fold, the NIA chargesheet states.
Some radical followers of this sect preach a world view that the modern day democracy is against the tenets of lslam, and that even those Muslims who oppose the strict Salafi interpretation of Islam are apostates.

NIA has listed the extent of how the module was well versed with social media applications to avoid getting exposed, said the report. The oath of allegiance given by ISIS ‘Caliph’ Abu Bakr-al Baghdadi was found written on piece of paper, uploaded online and sent to an ISIS handler – who told the recruits to delete the name lest it arouse suspicion.
However, the loyalty towards the ISIS chief is showcased in the charge sheet at many instances during which the recruits were asked to owe their allegiance to him.
The youth seem to have been active over internet tools such as Tor browser (which leads one to the Dark Web), Amn AL Mujahid, Chat secure, Orbot, Orfox and Trillian applications, apart from the more commonly used Telegram.

The National Investigation Agency which recently bust a module of the Islamic State in Hyderabad has learnt that applications such as Orbot and Orfox were used. These applications are used to hide a user's internet usage. This technology helped the operatives hide their tracks for a long time until the Intelligence Bureau got the better of them. Further, the NIA also found that the operatives had used a map application called OsmAnd+. They went about their operation by using highly encrypted applications to hide their tracks the NIA also says.

Apart from this the NIA also found that the operatives had digital documents containing three GPS co-ordinates saved in it, The police stations under their radar were at Kamathipura, Afzalganj and Bahadurpura in Hyderabad. After gathering information the operatives sent the coordinates to Armar in Syria using an application known as Pidgin. This application, the NIA says, allows users to log into multiple chat accounts at the same time. It was also found that the operatives stayed in touch using the Nymgo application. The chat applications frequently used by them were Trillian and Chatsecure. The emails were sent out through an Tutanota.

Amn Al-Mujahid: The app that wipes the digital footprints of the ISIS operatives

Use this application called Amn Al-Mujahid. It is the most secure application to be used on an Android device and has 40976-bit public key encryption making it the most secure system among the other algorithms, reads a note from an ISIS handler in Syria.

All the module members had this application installed on their phone. Apart from an online class, training manuals on how to use these applications were also provided.
Further the NIA also found that the operatives were trained on how to modify the DNS manually or through a programme. They were also taught on how to change an IP addressing through spoofing. Investigations showed after the release of the applications, a 28 page manual was provided to them by the Al-Fajr media of the ISIS. The manual had instructions on how to send out mails through encryption apart from covering their tracks online.

Islamic State operative nabbed in Hyderabad

He is also alleged to have gone to Ananthapur town to collect explosive material. The accused persons according to the NIA had planned on carrying out attacks in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. It is said that they had planned on targeting police stations in particular.
Investigations in this case have been going on since the past year. Acting on a tip off the NIA had arrested several persons from Hyderabad in June 2016. The probe revealed that this self styled module of the IS wanted to rope in several youth to carry out attacks in Hyderabad and several places in Andhra Pradesh.


To read about the trial of the Yazdani Hyderabad cell (July - present), visit this link.

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