Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad ( ATS )’s investigations have revealed that the Indian recruits were being given online training to make bombs by ISIS’s foreign handlers.
The ATS also gathered that Khalid alias Rizwan Ahmed Ali Nawazuddin played a key role in the brainwashing the youngsters from Malwani, who he may have met at least twice. He is the second in command of ISIS India and has travelled throughout the country to propagate the outfit’s views, said an ATS source, who does not wish to be named.
The modus operandi of the foreign handlers was to target a two to three people from one area, recruit them, bind them in small cells and train them online.
“This pattern can be seen in Hyderabad, Mumbai, UP and Bangalore where ISIS modules were busted,” another ATS source said.
Apart from training, those recruited in Ansar-ut Tawhid fi Bilad al- Hind, the Indian wing of ISIS, were handed over a four-point programme in a bid to radicalise them, he added.
“The youngsters arrested by the ATS and the national investigating agency ( NIA) were trained online. No one in India had any physical training in arms,” the source said.
While Khalid was paid in India a few times, some of the others were funded by foreign handlers. Khalid has been a part of ISIS since early 2015, while Muddabir Mushtaq Sheikh from Mumbra, who is allegedly the amir (chief) of ISIS India, has been in touch with the outfit since late 2013.
Investigators have found that those arrested knew each other well and had even met several times.
The 20-year old Khalid was in touch with top foreign handlers of ISIS.
Khalid, the son of a government servant [father is with the revenue department of the UP government], is a Class 12 student. Sources said he has been using several SIM cards to avoid being tracked by the security agencies.
ATS sources added that so f ar the investigations have revealed that the ISIS modules in Maharashtra were in the initial stages of making preparations for a strike.