MUMBAI: A covert operation by the Intelligence Bureau to bust an ISIS module in Malvani in December last year was compromised after an autorickshaw driver tipped off one of the targets that the cops were on to him, according to sources in the Mumbai police.
The target, Mohsin Sayyed who is accused of being part of an ISIS module in India, was finally picked in New Delhi in February this year. He came on to the radar of the security forces when he turned up at Malad railway station to greet Khalid Ahmed Ali Nawazuddin alias Rizwan. Rizwan, 19, is suspected to be the number 2 man in the ISIS’ India set-up and was being tailed by the IB and cops from Hyderabad.
They knew about Rizwan’s plan to visit Mumbai in the first week of December and had tasked their sleuths to monitor those he was to meet. “Officials in the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad were not even aware that around 12 people from Goregaon and Malwani had been radicalised and were planning to join ISIS,” said a senior police officer, requesting anonymity. When Rizwan arrived at Malad station, Mohsin and two others, Wajid Shaikh and Noor Mohammed, came to receive him in an autorickshaw.
Incidentally, all three were being followed by an IB sleuth who was on a bike.
A cop from Hyderabad was also monitoring them. When all f our boarded Mohsin’s autorickshaw, this officer took another autorickshaw to follow them.
He had first asked the biker, who was an IB man, to give him a ride but was turned down as neither knew they were on the same mission.
The cop from Hyderabad pushed his auto rick shaw driver to close in on Mohsin, telling him he was a police officer, When Mohsin and others got out of their vehicle at Malwani the cop from Hyderabad too left his vehicle to track them.
Little did the officer know that the auto driver who had ferried him to Malwani was an acquaintance of Mohsin’s.
The driver met Mohsin in the evening and told him the cops were following him.
The next day, Mohsin left Malwani with Wazid and Noor. Wazid and Noor were later reunited with their families as they told the police they had been misled by Mohsin and another man, Sultan, who is suspected to have reached Iraq via Delhi and Kabul.
Sultan was the first to leave home to join the ISIS, but presence of its sympathisers in Malwani came to light only when the three – Mohsin, Wazid and Noor – had fled their homes in December 2015.
The Maharashtra ATS has since arrested Rizwan from his hometown in Uttar Pradesh.