Pune: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has filed a chargesheet against six operatives of the banned terrorist organization Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) for their involvement in a terror module in Maharashtra. The chargesheet, filed before the NIA Special Court in Mumbai on Wednesday, accuses the six of recruiting and funding ISIS, as well as planning and preparing for terrorist attacks in India.
The six accused are Tabish Nasir Siddiqui, Zulfikar Ali Barodawala alias Lalabhai, Sharjeel Shaikh and Akif Atiq Nachan, all residents of Borivali-Padgha in Mumbai, and Zubair Noor Mohammed Shaikh alias Abu Nusaiba and Dr Adnan Ali Sarkar, both from Pune. They are all members of the proscribed ISIS organization and have sworn allegiance to its self-proclaimed caliph (leader).
According to the NIA, the investigation in the Maharashtra ISIS terror module case has revealed a larger conspiracy with international links and the involvement of foreign-based ISIS operatives. It also exposes a complex network of individuals committed to propagating the extremist and violent ideology of ISIS within India, to create fear and terror among the people and endanger the security, secular ethos, culture, and democratic system of government of India.
The NIA said that two of the accused, Zulfikar and Akif, were earlier charge-sheeted in the Pune ISIS module case for manufacturing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to carry out blasts. The agency also recovered propaganda magazines like ‘Voice of Hind’ and ‘Voice of Khorasan’ published by ISIS, as well as objectionable material related to migration to Syria (Hijrah) in the possession of the accused. Moreover, the accused were sharing DIY (Do It Yourself) kits with their contacts, which contained instructions on how to make explosives, weapons, and drones.
The NIA also found that the accused were raising funds to finance their terror plans and designs, by using various online platforms and channels. They were also in touch with other ISIS operatives and sympathizers in India and abroad and were receiving guidance and directions from them.
The case was registered by the NIA Mumbai branch on June 28, 2023, following information received by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) regarding a conspiracy hatched by the accused to wage war against the Indian government by promoting the terrorist activities of ISIS.
The NIA said that ISIS, also known as Islamic State (IS), Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), Daesh, Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), ISIS Wilayat Khorasan, Islamic State of Iraq and Sham Khorasan (ISIS-K), is operating through various modules to spread terror across India. The agency said that it is committed to cracking down on the menace of ISIS and bringing the perpetrators of terrorism to justice.