An alleged jihadist involved in a string of deadly bombings, including the 2008 Delhi attacks that killed 30 people, is among nearly half a dozen Indians on a first Islamic State threat video directed at Indians.
Mohammad Sajid, also known as Bada Sajid, was thought to have been killed last year in Syria, where he and his aides had moved to join IS ranks.
Sajid, a native of Azamgarh, was among three faces from the 22-minute IS video identified on Saturday.
The video vowed to “avenge” the Babri Masjid demolition and purported killing of Muslims in Gujarat, Kashmir and Muzaffarnagar.
Besides Bada Sajid, Abu Rashid — also a native of Azamgarh, Tawahhur Rehman — a Hyderabad resident — and Fahad Sheikh from Kalyan are in the video, according to central counter-terror sources.
Sajid is believed to have lived at the Batla House flat in south Delhi where a gunfight ended in the deaths of two Indian Mujahideen militants and a police officer in September 2008, five days after multiple synchronised bombs in crowded Delhi areas killed 30 people and left more than 100 injured.
Fahad had gone to the IS-held areas along with three other boys from Kalyan out of whom one Areeb Majeeb came back to India.
Counter terror sources say, Sajid made way to Pakistan along with other senior IM operatives after the Batla House encounter.
He later formed Ansar-ul-Tawhid (AuT), which released propaganda videos claiming its members were fighting alongside Taliban in Afghanistan.
“Sajid and his group then shifted to the IS-held area. Some social media posts indicated that he was killed while fighting in Syria early last year,” said a counter-terror official.
Similar assumptions were made about the death of another Indian jihadist -- Shafi Armar of Bhatkal -- in Syria but security agencies say he too is alive. Shafi was also in the AuT.
“We are taking whatever steps need to be taken to keep this country secured. And I feel all people of this country have a sense of confidence...people of all castes, religions will fight the terror forces with all their might,” Union home minister Rajnath Singh told reporters on Saturday when asked about the IS video.