After interrogating Durgapur polytechnic student Ashique Ahmed, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has learnt that he had managed to indoctrinate several youths from Bengal in the Islamic State’s (IS’s) ideology in the last six months. The agency also learnt that Ahmed got in touch with these youths through social networking sites.
The youths that Ahmed indoctrinated come from areas such as Murshidabad, Malda, Hooghly and North 24-Parganas.
“Ashique Ahmed was given the task of swaying these youths and getting them to adopt IS’s ideals and beliefs. Soon, he began contacting them through social networking sites,” said NIA IG SK Singh. While tracing the IS network in the country, the agency identified 14 people who were engaged in spreading IS ideology. They were arrested and one of them, Nasif Khan, from Hyderabad told the sleuths about Ahmed whom he had recruited for spreading IS’s ideology.
The agency picked Ahmed up from Kanksa near Durgapur on February 25 and brought him to Kolkata for interrogation. Later, he was taken to Delhi where he was arrested on March 17.
While grilling Nasif Khan and Ahmed, the NIA learnt that Ashique was asked to make a list of people who could turnout to be hardcore IS activists.
After examining Ahmed’s profile page on a social networking site, the sleuths also found that he used to share IS videos, including the brutal execution videos uploaded on different sites.
But the NIA sleuths are now sure that Ahmed was over enthusiastic in spreading the IS ideology and that was why he often pressurised others through chat to adopt it. In fact, he wanted to indoctrinate as many youths in Bengal as possible.
The agency is now trying to locate the persons Ahmed and Khan contacted in the last six months. The officials added that the exact number of persons recruited by IS in India or those assigned the task of spreading their ideology could not ascertained.
The NIA had earlier said that the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh (JMB) had recruited and trained their activists in Bengal before Khagragarh blast. Then, too, jihad had become the main attraction for the young recruits.