A team of Federal Bureau of Investigation officers will arrive in Kolkata on Thursday to interrogate a suspected member of the Islamic State (IS), who is believed to have indoctrinated several men to join the terror outfit.
Sources said that an expert who can crack the encryption on WhatsApp and similar platforms is also accompanying the FBI team as Mohammad Masiruddin alias Mussa, who was arrested on July 4, used these communication modes frequently.
“A team of FBI sleuths is arriving to question Mussa. A team from NIA in Delhi is also coming. But we cannot reveal anything more right now,” a National Investigation Agency source told Hindustan Times.
The NIA has approached a court to take 25-year-old Mussa, who is lodged in a high-security prison in Kolkata, in their custody for questioning.
In August, a three-member team of Bangladesh’s elite anti-terror agency Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) came to Kolkata to grill Mussa. They wanted to probe his connection with the terror attack on Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery in July.
Mussa, a resident of Labhpur in Birbhum district, was arrested by Government Railway Police and Birbhum police from Viswa Bharati Fast Passenger train at Burdwan railway station based on the inputs from Intelligence Bureau and NIA.
During interrogation by the state police, intelligence agencies and NIA, Mussa revealed the IS’s plan for a formal announcement of its arrival in India with a signature video of a brutal murder.
A foot-long butcher’s knife and a pencil camera were seized from Mussa, who was allegedly in touch with Syria-based IS recruiter Shafi Armar alias Yusuf Al-Hindi as well as a Bangladesh-based terror handler identified as Saifullah.
Shafi Armar, a resident of Bhatkal in Karnataka, is an ex-Indian Mujahideen terrorist who formed a group called the Anwar ul-Tawhid along with other Indians in Pakistan before moving to the IS.
Mussa told investigators that he was asked to behead a Labhpur-based businessman and record the event on video, to be released on the internet, to prove his worth for bigger assignments. He also claimed that he met his handler in March 2016 during which he was encouraged to work for the IS in India.
After retrieving email and chats of Mussa from his mobile phone, the NIA found that he had a connection with banned terror outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and IS leaders in Syria. Bangladesh blames home-grown terrorists of JMB for the Dhaka cafe attack though the IS have claimed it.