The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday raided nine locations in a multi-state crackdown in the ISIS Jharkhand module case and arrested one person for his alleged role in the conspiracy to spread terror in the region. The case relates to the ISIS module that was exposed with the arrest of an Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) student in July this year. The student, Faizan, had come in contact with radicalized individuals connected with ISIS during his stay near the AMU campus.

The raids were conducted in the Siwan district in Bihar, Jaunpur, Azamgarh and Maharajganj districts of Uttar Pradesh, Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh, Ludhiana in Punjab, South Goa in Goa, Yadgir in Karnataka and Mumbai in maharashtra”>Maharashtra, it added. “Searches were conducted at the premises of suspects at nine locations across six States as part of Thursday’s crackdown, during which one Rahul Sen @ Omar @ Omar Bahadur was arrested and a host of incriminating material, including electronic/digital devices (laptops, pen drives, mobile phones), one knife, a veil and several ISIS-related documents were seized,” NIA stated in a release.

“Omar, aged 23, was arrested from Ratlam for his active role in the terror conspiracy, including dissemination of ISIS propaganda through social media platforms for radicalisation and recruitment of gullible youth for carrying out various terror-related activities. Several incriminating materials/data, including videos pertaining to ISIS, were also seized,” it stated. It further said that “The case (RC-02/2023/NIA/RNC) was registered by the NIA on 19th July 2023 under sections 120B, 153A and 505 of IPC and sections 18, 20, 38 and 39 of UA (P) Act. On 20th July 2023, one Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operative, Faizan Ansari, was arrested by the NIA.” NIA investigations had revealed that Faizan, aged about 19, had hatched the Jharkhand terror module conspiracy, along with his associates and unknown others, through social media platforms, with an intention to aid and abet terror activities by providing active support to ISIS, a proscribed terrorist organisation, and disseminate the outfit’s propaganda, it stated.

The conspiracy was aimed at unleashing violent terror attacks in India on behalf of ISIS and recruiting youngsters to work for the banned outfit. “Faizan, a BA Hons Economics student at AMU used to stay at a lodge near the University campus. While studying there, he came in contact with some radicalized individuals who were in contact with ISIS operatives. They formed a closed group, which was trying to influence others to join ISIS,” NIA said. Faizan had also propagated ideological videos of ISIS in order to influence and recruit vulnerable youngsters to carry out violent attacks in India.

He was in the process of radicalising neo-converts and bringing them into the terrorist fold to expand the ISIS cadre and footprint in India, it added. “Further, he was in contact with foreign-based ISIS handlers, who were guiding him in spreading ISI’s ideology. He had also contemplated doing ‘Hijrat’ (migration) to a foreign ISIS conflict theatre after completing his task in India,” NIA added. Further investigation is underway.