NIA raids house of ISIS suspect in Srinagar : The Tribune India

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NIA raids house of ISIS suspect in Srinagar

Accused part of Kerala module of Islamic State, say officials

NIA raids house of ISIS suspect in Srinagar

Photo for representation. File photo



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 13

The NIA today said it had raided the house of a suspected Islamic State operative in Srinagar as part of an investigation into a case related to activities of some individuals from Kerala linked to the global terror group — Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

In an official statement, the NIA said the house of Uzair Azhar Bhat, suspected to have been a part of the Kerala module of the Islamic State, was raided at the Karfali Mohalla locality in Srinagar’s downtown. The NIA also confirmed that the raiding team seized digital devices which are being examined. Further investigation is in progress.

Plan to migrate to ISIS territory

  • Two women from South India, along with a few others, wanted to migrate to the Islamic State-administered territory.
  • Among them were Deepthi Marla of Kerala and Obaid Hamid Matta of Srinagar who met in Kashmir in January 2020.
  • One of the common contacts of both was Uzair Azhar Bhat whose house was raided by a team of the National Investigation Agency.

In 2021, the NIA had launched a probe against Mohammed Ameen, alias Abu Yahya, of Kadannamanna in Kerala, who had been running various Islamic State propaganda channels on different social media platforms.

“Through these channels, he was propagating violent jihadi ideology of the ISIS. He was radicalising and recruiting new members into this terror module. He and his associates had even identified certain individuals for targeted killings,” the NIA said, adding that they had also made plans to undertake ‘Hijrah’(migration) to Jammu and Kashmir for engaging in terrorist acts and had raised funds from various sources for this trip.

“During the probe, it was found that Ameen had been in touch with Deepthi Marla of Kerala, a converted Muslim, married to Anas Abdul Rahiman of Mangalore. In 2015, she went to Dubai to pursue studies where she met Mizha Siddeeque and both women developed an inclination towards the ISIS,” the agency said.

In 2019, the NIA said they tried to do ‘Hijrah’ to Khorasan (Afghanistan) and reached Tehran, Iran. After reaching Tehran, their contact with ISIS operatives based in Khorasan could not be established, it added. “They both returned to India and Marla got in touch with Ameen, Obaid Hamid Matta, Madesh Shankar alias Abdullah and others and made plans to undertake Hijrah to the ISIS-administered territory. In January 2020, she went to Srinagar to meet Matta to plan the Hijrah and stayed in Srinagar for one week,” the NIA said, adding that one of the common contacts between Marla and Matta was Bhat, who is suspected to be a part of the conspiracy.

Digital devices seized, investigation underway

The NIA says that the raiding team seized digital devices which are being examined. Further investigation is in progress.

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