A day after HT reported that suspected Islamic State (IS) activist Mohammad Mussa had planned to attack the headquarters of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in the city, Kolkata Police thoroughly revamped the security arrangements at Mother House.
A contingent of the police’s combat force, including commandoes, was deployed outside the House early on Sunday, especially in view of the day being Christmas. Apart from senior officers of Park Street police station (Mother House falls under its jurisdiction), top officers of Kolkata Police visited the place at different times during the day and took stock of the situation.
A senior police officer told HT, “I can say only this much that security has been beefed up.” Sisters of the Missionaries of Charity refused to comment on the latest developments.
HT had reported on Sunday that Mussa, who was arrested on July 4, had planned to carry out an attack on Mother House. His statement on the matter has been referred to in the charge sheet filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Mussa’s targets were British, American and Russian tourists — who regularly visit Mother House — to “avenge” the bombing of areas controlled by the Islamic State in conflict-ridden Syria, Iraq and Libya by the US, the UK and Russia, the NIA charge sheet filed on Friday states.
Twenty-five-year-old Mussa was recently interrogated by officers of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Bangladesh’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for his alleged links with the massacre at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery, where terrorists armed with sharp weapons slaughtered 20 people in July. The attack, including a 12-hour siege of the bakery, was later claimed by the IS.
Sources said that the people with whom Mussa used to discuss his plans in Kolkata through a cell phone app called Telegram were Abu Sulaiman, an IS operative and the alleged mastermind of the Dhaka attack, Safi Omar, an Indian Mujahideen suspect, and other members of the IS and Jamaat-e-Mujahideen, a banned terror organisation of Bangladesh.
NIA and Intelligence Bureau (IB) officers had picked up Mussa from the Visva-Bharati Fast Passenger train at Burdwan station. A knife (apparently to kill a businessman to prove his worth before his IS bosses for bigger assignments) and a camera (to record the killing) he was carrying were seized. A resident of Labhpur in Birbhum district, Mussa is now lodged at the Alipore central jail.