NIA raids at 44 locations in Karnataka, Maharashtra; 15 operatives of ISIS module arrested

Those arrested include the head of an ISIS module in Maharashtra who was administering 'Bayath' to the new recruits.

BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 09, 2023 | 8:18 PMUpdated Dec 09, 2023 | 8:18 PM

NIA raids at 44 locations in Karnataka, Maharashtra; 15 operatives of ISIS module arrested

In a major crackdown on ISIS, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), on Saturday, 9 December, arrested 15 people associated with the banned terror outfit during multiple raids across Maharashtra and Karnataka.

NIA teams swooped down on as many as 44 locations in Padgha-Borivali, Thane, Mira Road, and Pune in Maharashtra, and Bengaluru in Karnataka early Saturday morning, and apprehended the 15 accused of promoting terror and terror-related acts and activities.

Huge amounts of unaccounted cash, firearms, sharp-edged weapons, incriminating documents, smart phones, and other digital devices were seized during the raids, conducted as part of NIA’s ongoing efforts to disrupt attempts by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to carry out acts of terror in India.

The accused, operating on the directions of foreign handlers, were said to be actively involved in various terrorist activities, including fabrication of IEDs, the NIA investigations found.

Related: NIA charge-sheets 8 for supplying drones to Telangana Maoists

Maharashtra module

NIA investigations revealed that the accused — all members of the ISIS Maharashtra module — were operating from Padgha-Borivali, where they had hatched the conspiracy to spread terror and carry out acts of violence across India.

Initial investigations have revealed that the arrested accused had self-declared the village of Padgha in rural Thane as a “liberated zone” and as “Al Sham”. They were motivating impressionable Muslim youth to relocate to Padgha from their place of residence to strengthen their base.

Saqib Nachan, the main accused and head of the ISIS module, was also administering the “bayath” (oath of allegiance to the Khalifa of ISIS) to the persons joining the proscribed organisation, the NIA said.

ISIS is a Global Terror Organisation (GTG) , also known as Islamic State (IS), Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), Daish, Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), ISIS Wilayat Khorasan, Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham Khorasan (ISIS-K).

According to the NIA, the outfit has been spreading its terror network in India by putting in place localised ISIS modules and cells in various states of the country.

The NIA has, in recent months, conducted large-scale raids and busted different ISIS modules by arresting several terror operatives in the ISIS terror conspiracy case in a bid to scuttle the organisation’s activities.

The agency had registered a case against the ISIS Maharashtra module earlier this year and has, since then, taken strong and concerted actions to destroy various ISIS modules and networks operating across the country.