The National Investigation Agency (NIA) dismantled an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) module in Maharashtra on Monday, detaining four people for encouraging terrorist activities in an intelligence-led operation. The accused were apprehended on Monday after the NIA conducted massive raids in Mumbai, Thane, and Pune.
Zubair Noor Mohammed Shaikh (39) alias Abu Nusaiba, the accused detained from the Kondhwa area in city, is a former IT engineer. The NIA said in a statement that searches were conducted at their homes in five locations in the ISIS Maharashtra module case, which was registered on June 28, 2023.
During searches of the accused’s houses, NIA teams seized various incriminating evidence, including electronic devices and ISIS-related documents. The evidence uncovered the accused’s strong and active links with ISIS, as well as their efforts to recruit vulnerable youth to support the terror organization’s anti-India mission.
The NIA’s preliminary investigations revealed that the accused plotted to further the terrorist activities of ISIS.
As part of the ISIS conspiracy, the accused were preparing to establish and operate a Sleeper Cell in the state.
The NIA operations were conducted in response to credible information that the accused and their colleagues had recruited youth and demonstrated them in the manufacturing of IEDs and firearms.
The accused had also communicated pertinent material, such as ‘Do it Yourself kits’ (DIY), for the fabrication of IEDs and the manufacture of small weapons, such as pistols, among themselves.
Furthermore, on the orders of their foreign handlers, the accused generated provocative media content that was published in the magazine ‘Voice of Hind’ to push the banned organisations’ agenda of terror and violence.
The agency has invoked IPC sections 120B (Criminal conspiracy) and 121A (Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government).
The NIA has also invoked Sections 18 (Conspiracy), 18A (Organising terrorist camps), 18B (Recruiting of any person or persons for terrorist act), 38 (Membership of a terrorist organisation) and 39 (Support given to a terrorist organisation) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).