IS Suspects Used Chat Apps To Learn Bomb-Making Techniques


New Delhi: Six IS suspects who were charge-sheeted on Monday were allegedly conspiring to carry out terror activities in the national capital and adjoining regions and during Ardh Kumbh in Haridwar to terrorise people, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) told a special court.

The NIA also said that they were learning bomb-making techniques from Syria-based ISIS operatives through social networking platforms, including Trillian, WhatsApp and Facebook.

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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 ISIS in Syria.

“They were conspiring to carry out a terror activity in the area of Delhi/NCR and during Ardh Kumbh festival in Haridwar in order to create terror in the minds of people of India and send global message that they are representatives of ISIS in India. The “accused owed their allegiance to Islamic State/Islamic State and Levant (ISIL)/ Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to further its activities in India by way of motivating Muslim youths in this regard and ultimately train and prepare them to carry out terror activities in India and also to shift them to countries like Syria, Iraq etc,” the chargesheet said.

“They were in the process of acquiring explosives and the necessary expertise in assembling the IEDs with the help of literature provided to one of them through internet,” the chargesheet said. 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, as per IANS. “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 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.