The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Gujarat Police has detained four people with alleged links to the proscribed terrorist organization, the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), while a search operation is underway for a fifth member who is absconding, the state’s Home Minister Harsh Sanghavi confirmed on Saturday.
The accused were identified as Ubaid Nasir Mir, Hanan Hayat Shawl, and Mohammad Hajim Shah from Soura, Srinagar; and Sumerabanu Mohammad Hanif Malek from Saiyedpura, Surat.
The absconding member is Zubair Ahmed Munshi, a resident of Amira Kadal, Srinagar. According to the ATS, Ubaid Nasir Mir, Hanan Hayat Shawl, and Mohammad Hajim Shah were allegedly radicalized by their handler, Abu Hamza, and had joined the ISKP.
The three were attempting to leave India via the coastal route from Porbandar to Afghanistan towards Iran.
Acting on specific information, the ATS conducted further operations, which revealed two more individuals — Zubair Ahmed Munshi and Sumerabanu — as members of the same ISKP module.
A joint raid by the Gujarat ATS and Surat Crime Branch at Sumerabanu’s residence led to the recovery of several radical ISKP publications, and material confirming her allegiance to the ISKP leader.
Evidence from the trio’s belongings discovered at Porbandar included personal identity documents, digital communication devices, sharp-edged weapons, and incriminating cloud storage data showing the individuals with ISKP banners and flags.
It also contained videos of the four Kashmiri youth swearing allegiance to the ISKP leader, and documents confirming their commitment to join the Khorasan jihad.
As per the ATS, the suspects were instructed by their handler, Abu Hamza, to take employment as laborers on a fishing boat.
Using this boat, they were to reach a predetermined GPS coordinate to be picked up by a dhow and taken to Iran.
With fake passports, they were to make their way to Khorasan via Herat, Afghanistan, and engage in ISKP’s terror campaign.
Following the arrests and substantial evidence gathered, charges were filed under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 against the five detained individuals and Munshi, who is still at large.
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