Mass downloads of ISIS D-I-Y terror e-book has cops in a fix

Updated: 19 December, 2015 14:41 IST | Saurabh Vaktania |

Though aimed at Muslim youth in the West, the book's popularity in India has Indian intelligence agencies worried. The book teaches how to create Muslim gangs, remove fear of police, make bombs and more

An ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) e-book, being downloaded across the country has become a major cause for concern for Indian intelligence agencies.

The book is a training manual for the terror outfit’s potential recruits
The book is a training manual for the terror outfit’s potential recruits

On Thursday, following the pace at which the book is getting downloaded, the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) dashed off a letter to the cyber crime police station at BKC asking them to immediately block all the sites that are giving access to this e-book. The e-book, called ‘Muslim Gangs E-book 1’, is mainly targeted at garnering recruits in Western countries.

The most dangerous part of the book is where it clearly shows how to make bombs, suicide bombs and car bombs. The book gives knowledge on how to create Muslim gangs, remove the fear of police and authority, recruit more children and teenagers, unite Muslims from every corner of the world and eventually rule the whole world.

A source from the Mumbai police said, “On Thursday morning, a letter was sent by the state ATS to the cyber crime police station at BKC, seeking immediate blocking of the sites where the e-book is available for download. The cyber police station special unit, which manages operations, is working on the same. Information will be sent to Central agencies which will take immediate action and block the sites.”

Giving details on how to block websites that are giving access to this book, Additional Commissioner of Police K M M Prasanna said, “Whenever we get such notices to block websites, we inform Central agencies and block them within a few hours. We are the nodal branch and only Central agencies can block such websites from the Indian domain.” However, he refused to comment on this e-book.

List of downloads
The special cyber crime cell at BKC has begun compiling the list of people who are downloading the book. They fear that the book might instigate people to join the terror outfit. The cell is also working on blocking every website that is giving access to download this book.

In the book, several ways have been listed to garner funds for newbie terrorists. Some of the ways detailed in the e-book are stealing from jewellery shops, pilfering high-end items, credit card fraud, breaking into cash machines and getting donations from people. All these ways have been listed in detail.

An officer from the ATS said, “The book is actually a way to create sleeper cells. It is very appealing and is the shortest book available to provide such deadly information.” The book also asks recruits to choose powerful leaders and good speakers on the lines of people like Osama bin Laden, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqawi, Anwar al-Awlaki, Abu Yahya al-Libi, and Abu Muhammad al-Adnani. It also presents ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as an inspiration to join jihad.

The e-book says that the first thing that recruits should do is remove the fear of police and authority from their followers. A detailed description is given for the same.

Interestingly, in a paragraph of the book, it says that recruits should tell teenagers that they will play out their fantasies in real life, like the way they play the Grand Theft Auto game on computers.

The deadly details in the e-book are of the techniques to make several types of bombs, suicide bombs and car bombs. Among the many varieties of bombs, it also teaches how to make bombs from a can of cold drink or a pressure cooker.

In another interesting paragraph, it exhorts its wannabe followers to watch the ‘Home Alone’ movie to learn to keep one’s house safe from the police.

Cyber expert Rajat Kumar Dutta from Jetkings said, “Every country has a gateway for all Internet content. It is possible to block the website or the content from the Indian domain if the offensive content is blocked from the gateway.” He added, “It is also possible for the cops to track the people who had downloaded and uploaded the book from their respective IP address.”

Meanwhile, the ATS has informed the cyber crime cell about the book yesterday. The cops at the cyber crime police station have found out that a large number of people have already downloaded the e-book. They are currently focusing on blocking it; later, they will scrutinise how many people have downloaded the e-book and from which locations was it downloaded.

First Published: 18 December, 2015 06:50 IST

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