An official of the state-run Indian Oil Corporation was arrested in Jaipur on Thursday for alleged links with the Islamic State and urging youngsters to join the jihadi group, the police said.
Mohammed Sirajuddin, a native of Karnataka, has been accused of being in touch with people associated with the IS and using networking websites in an attempt to recruit for terror group, said Alok Tripathi, additional director general of police (Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad and Special Operation Group).
In November, the Centre warned of the IS using regional militant groups to mount strikes in the country, and increased security around the diplomatic missions of the United States, France and Britain among others.
Tripathi told Hindustan Times Sirajuddin’s social media accounts were put under surveillance before his arrest. “It was found that the accused was actively involved in IS-related activities through social media including WhatsApp, Facebook, Telegram and others. He propagated the cause of IS and urged the Indian youth to join the group. He also has links with some people associated with the IS within and outside India,” said Tripathi, adding that Sirajuddin had been booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
Despite India’s large Muslim population, the IS has only been able to draw a handful of recruits from the country, although security officials say they don’t have a full picture, and that there could be more youth getting radicalised.
On Thursday, a team of the ATS also recovered printed issues of Islamic State’s online propaganda magazine, Dabiq, from the accused. They also traced several videos and online posts linked to the IS, the officer said.
Sirajuddin has been living in Jaipur’s Jawahar Nagar since April 2014. “We are collecting more information about Sirajuddin’s links with Indian and foreign IS members,” said Tripathi. He will be produced in a court on Friday and the police will seek his remand for interrogation.
“Though ISIS/ISIL (other acronyms used for the IS) has not been able to establish any significant presence in India, its success in radicalising some youth, attracting certain section of the local population/Indian diaspora... or the possibility of piggybacking on terrorist groups operating in India have opened up the possibility of ISIS sponsored action on Indian territory,” a government note recently said.
(With inputs from Reuters)