India awaits access to Islamic State bomber, questionnaire sent to Russia

Updated on Sep 04, 2022 02:24 PM IST

Radicalised online and trained by Islamic State in Turkey, Azamov was tasked to avenge the apparent insult to Prophet by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma.

Uzbek Islamic State bomber Azamoz. (PTI)
Uzbek Islamic State bomber Azamoz. (PTI)
By, New Delhi

Indian security agencies have sent a questionnaire to their Russian counterparts, the Federal Security Service (FSB), seeking extensive details about detained Uzbek Islamic State bomber Azamoz even as reports indicate that his associate Kyrgyz national has apparently been killed in Turkey after he abandoned his India mission. The FSB announced the detention of 30-year-old Azamov on August 22, 2022, while discreetly tipping off Indian agencies in late July.

While Indian agencies in touch with their Russian and Uzbek counterparts to gain physical access to Azamov, no forward movement has been recorded till now and the replies to the questionnaire are still awaited. Radicalized online and trained by Islamic State in Turkey, Azamov was tasked to avenge the apparent insult to Prophet by former BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma. Another Kyrgyz national was also prepared for the same task via Moscow but the Islamic State terrorist went back to Turkey with latest reports indicating that he was killed.

Also Read | Indian agencies seek access to Uzbek suicide bomber in Russian custody

Although reports from Moscow indicate that Azamov was to be given his Indian contact once he landed in the country, the Indian security agencies are hunting to unearth the radicals of the Islamic State and their handlers in West Asian countries like Turkey, Qatar, and Kuwait. The Islamic State espouses Wahabbi Islam and is opposed to Deobandi Taliban and Salafi Al Qaida terrorist groups. Since 2014, the Islamic State is competing with Al Qaida and Taliban to become the global leader of religious extremism.

The situation becomes more complex in West Asia with the presence of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, which has an international media channel in its support, and has support groups in various parts of the country including India. The spotlight on Nupur Sharma was brought by the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated countries of Qatar, Kuwait, and Turkey with help of their Indian affiliates. Countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE have banned the Brotherhood, which is the key sponsor of terror against Israel through the Hamas group.

After the remarks by Nupur Sharma, the Indian security agencies have activated their networks to pick up any terror attack planning or plans to target any Indian VVIP. It is in this context that the questioning of Azamov by Indian agencies is critical to spotlight on Islamic State network and overground supporters in India.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Author of Indian Mujahideen: The Enemy Within (2011, Hachette) and Himalayan Face-off: Chinese Assertion and Indian Riposte (2014, Hachette). Awarded K Subrahmanyam Prize for Strategic Studies in 2015 by Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) and the 2011 Ben Gurion Prize by Israel.

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