Chargesheeted IS suspects used chat apps to learn bomb making

IS-suspectsNew Delhi, (IANS) Five Islamic State (IS) suspects who were chargesheeted on Monday were learning bomb-making techniques from Syria-based IS operatives through social networking platforms, including Trillian, WhatsApp and Facebook, the NIA said.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) filed a chargesheet before a Delhi court against six IS suspects, accusing them of conspiring to target the Ardh Kumbh Mela at Haridwar besides some strategic locations in Delhi to trigger terror.

Five of the six men – Mohd. Azeemushan, Mohd. Osama, Akhlakur Rehman alias Akhlaq, Meraj alias Monu and Mohsin Ibrahim Sayyed — are in judicial custody while the sixth, Yusuf-Al-Hindi alias Safi Armar, is on the run. He is believed to be working for the IS in Syria.

Akhlakur Rehman was using Trillian, an instant messaging app that works on phones, tablets, and desktops. He used the Trillian ID “wafabhai 7861” for chatting with Yusuf-Al-Hindi, who was available on the same platform in the name of “gummnambhai”, the NIA said in the chargesheet.

“Rehman received a link on his Trillian ID regarding ‘bomb banana ka asan tariqa’ (easy steps to make bombs) from Yusuf-Al-Hindi of Indian origin, a IS handler based in Syria,” NIA said.

“In compliance of the instructions, they collected explosives (match stick heads),” it said.

Azeemushan, Rehman, Meraj and Osama were in constant touch with one another through mobile phones and certain apps on social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Surespot, Trillian, Skype and Facebook.

On the instructions of Yusuf-Al-Hindi, Osama and Azeemushan carried out a recce of the area of the Ardh Kumbh at Haridwar on January 18 to plant improvised explosive devices (IED).

They had carried out a recce of other probable places also where they could plant the IEDs to send out a message to the world that they are representatives of the IS in India, the NIA alleged.

The whole conspiracy was hatched at Landhaura near Haridwar in January 2016.

“The necessary expertise in assembling the IEDs with the help of literature was provided to one of them through internet by Yusuf-Al-Hindi,” the NIA chargesheet said.

The NIA also added that it recovered from Rehman videos of various Muslim clerics giving motivational speeches regarding faith, jehadi literature, blood-letting, evoking hatred, and “bomb bannane ka asan tariqa, Diwali wali patakhon ke zarye”, (easy process of making bomb through Diwali firecrackers),”table or alarm watch se timer bananna” (making timer through alarm watch), explaining the method of preparing IED in detail with the help of matchsticks and firecrackers.

The probe agency said that it has recovered from mobiles and electronic gadgets of Rehman the audio files containing “takrirs” (lectures) of Maulana Masood Azhar, chief commander of Jaish-e-Mohammad who is behind the Pathankot Air base attack on January 2, and speeches of wanted militants Mufti Abdussami, Maulana Syed Salman Husaini Nadwi and Maulana Qari Haneef Multan.

“The accused were inclined towards the ideology of IS and wanted to work for the same cause by staying in India, and some of them wanted to go to Syria as well. Their indoctrination was possible because of the use of various social media platforms,” the NIA said.

Medaram Jathara

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