NIA arrests 15 ISIS operatives in raids across Maharashtra and Karnataka

09 December,2023 10:51 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  Faizan Khan

In a major operation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted simultaneous raids at 44 locations in Maharashtra and Karnataka, resulting in the arrest of 15 ISIS operatives

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In a major operation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted simultaneous raids at 44 locations in Maharashtra and Karnataka, resulting in the arrest of 15 ISIS operatives. The raids, carried out in Padgha-Borivali, Thane, Mira Road, Pune (Maharashtra), and Bengaluru (Karnataka), took place early morning on Saturday.

The arrested individuals face charges related to promoting terrorism and engaging in terror activities on behalf of the proscribed organization. The NIA stated that the raids yielded substantial findings, including unaccounted cash, firearms, sharp-edged weapons, incriminating documents, smartphones, and other digital devices.

The operation is part of the NIA's ongoing efforts to thwart ISIS's attempts to carry out violent acts of terror and jeopardize innocent lives. Investigations revealed that the accused, operating under the guidance of foreign handlers, were actively involved in various terrorist activities, including the fabrication of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).

The ISIS Maharashtra module, based in Padgha-Borivali, orchestrated a conspiracy to spread terror and violence across India, pursuing a path of violent Jihad, Khilafat, and ISIS's destructive agenda. The NIA has been actively countering the organization's expansion in India through localized modules.

In recent months, the NIA has conducted extensive raids and dismantled various ISIS modules, resulting in the arrest of several operatives involved in the ISIS terror conspiracy case. The agency registered a case against the ISIS Maharashtra module earlier this year and has since taken robust actions to eliminate different ISIS modules and networks, countering the organization's violent anti-India agenda.

Earlier this year, the NIA filed a chargesheet against seven accused, including Shamil Nachan, the son of former SIMI member Saquib Nachan from Padgha. The NIA asserts that individuals from Pune's Kondhwa and Padgha in Thane were plotting terrorist activities for ISIS, with Padgha playing a crucial role.

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The accused had taken a pledge to support ISIS and were indoctrinating several Muslim youths to join the terrorist organization. They conducted trials for IED explosions in the forested areas of Maharashtra and conducted reconnaissance on sensitive locations in Mumbai and other metropolitan cities.

The NIA's investigations have further revealed that the accused, all members of the ISIS Maharashtra module, were operating from Padgha-Borivali. They had hatched a conspiracy to spread terror and carry out acts of violence across India. Pursuing the path of violent Jihad, Khilafat, and ISIS, the accused aimed to disturb the peace and communal harmony of the country and wage a war against the Government of India.

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

The NIA has identified former SIMI member Saqib Nachan as the main accused and the leader of the ISIS module. He was administering the 'bayath' (oath of allegiance to the Khalifa of ISIS) to individuals joining the proscribed organization.

Areeb Majeed, who joined ISIS in 2014 and returned to India in 2015, has also been summoned by the NIA, with his statement recorded earlier in connection with the ongoing investigations.

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