An ISIS suspect from Bangalore was arrested from a church at Banjar town in Kullu district on Saturday.
Himachal Pradesh director general of police (DGP) Sanjay Kumar confirmed the arrest of Abid Khan,23, alias Abu Mohammad, who belongs to Bangalore. After the arrest of Khan, police beefed up security at various points in the town.
The suspected member of terror outfit Islamic State used to visit a church in Sidhwan in Banjar frequently. He had reportedly converted to Christianity and knew at least six languages and was allegedly planning to go to Israel to learn Hebrew, police said.
He had been living the church for the last 4-5 months and in the meantime had also visited Srilanka, SP Kullu Padam Chand said.
The DGP said a case has been registered under Section 419 (punishment for cheating by personation) of the Indian Penal Code and under Section 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 19 (punishment for harbouring) of unlawful activities prevention Act, 1967.
He said that the suspect was living here in a church (Chapel) at Sidhwan with fake identity of Paul C Neo. During the initial interrogation, Abid has revealed that he was influenced by ISIS ‘ideology’. Abid will be produced in local court tomorrow.
During the interrogation, the suspect reportedly told police that he was planning to escape to Indonesia to his female friend and from there he had planned to go to Seria. His plans remained grounded because he had no money. “He knows 5-6 international languages,” a police official revealed, requesting anonymity. During the search of his room at chapel, police have recovered a laptop, mobile and few other documents.
Police is also interrogating the priest of that church- Believers Church- Kamlesh. “Kamlesh is also under scanner because Abid had been living with him,” a senior police official said.
Sources said on the tip-off received from central intelligence agencies, local police nabbed Abid Khan. During the search, all identity proofs recovered from him were on his original name. Police sources said NIA had arrested few people in Bangalore in January this year and Abid was under scanner since then.
Arrest of ISIS suspects has also raised question over security of defence offices, major hydro power projects in Himachal Pradesh. Himachal Pradesh share state border with Jammu and Kashmir while international border with China.