The Hush Post |13:14 pm |one-minute-read
Nine men have been arrested for alleged terror links with ISIS from Mumbra in Thane, Maharashtra. Shockingly, among those arrested are a football coach, a computer engineer, a civil engineer, a pharmacist and a cyber expert, state ATS officials said.
One of those arrested is a teenager. The arrests took place on Tuesday. The arrests came during the course the ATS’s investigation into the presence of sleeper cells ahead of the Republic Day.
Those arrested have been identified as Salman Khan, Fahad Shah, Zamen Kutepadi, Mohseen Khan, Mohammad Mazhar Shaikh, Taki Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Zahid Shaikh and a 17-year-old (whose name cannot be disclosed since he is a minor).
According to the ATS, the module was run by three brothers from Mumbra — Salman, Mohseen and Taki. They used to identify, get in touch, and radicalise youngsters. Their hunt for recruits started in the mosques.
The three were allegedly influenced by ISIS sympathisers and were given the task to indoctrinate others to join the terror group. Mohseen, the eldest brother, was monitoring members from Mumbra and was head of the propaganda module of the ISIS, the officials said.
Each member had specific task. Salman, who used to be a football coach in Mumbra area, shifted to Aurangabad a year ago. He was given the task of identifying youth who could be radicalised in Aurangabad and its neighbouring areas. “He used to visit Mumbra often and update Mohseen about other youths in Aurangabad.
The kingpins of the group would complement one another in a way so that their terror networking and operations are carried out in a smooth manner
During Ramadan and Islamic festival Salman used to visit mosques and identify youth. Then he would influence them and arrange their meeting with his brother Mohseen. Taki used to help both his brothers,” the ATS official added.
Another accused Mohammad Mazhar Shaikh, who worked in private firm in Bhiwandi as computer engineer, met Mohseen and Salman during Ramadan in a mosque at Mumbra few months ago.
After a tip-off, intelligence agencies were keeping tabs on the activities of Mohseen and Mazhar. Mohseen left for Aurangabad three days ago and was detained by the ATS official. On Monday evening, Mazhar was arrested. Both were taken to Aurangabaad for interrogation.
Fahad Shah, a civil engineer, came in touch with Salman during Ramadan at a mosque in Mumbra area. After that, they were in regular touch and often visited Aurangabad together. The 17-year-old accused was one of the youth radicalised by the three brothers. He has a diploma in electronic and cyber science.
Zamen Kuttepadi worked as Medical representative (MR) in Mumbra and Thane who has a good knowledge of chemicals and this was one of the reasons for his recruitment, the ATS said.