IS suspect planned to attack Mother House in Kolkata, kill foreigners: NIA
Suspected Islamic State sympathiser and aspiring foot soldier Mohammad Mussa, who was arrested in West Bengal on July 4, planned to carry out attacks on the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in central Kolkata, the National Investigation Agency has said in its chargesheet.
His aim was to target British, American and Russian tourists, who regularly visit the Mother House, in retaliation to the bombing of IS forces in Syria and Libya by these world powers, the chargesheet filed on Friday said.
“A-1 (Md Mussa) discusses about some plan and selects Mother Teresa House as the target for terrorist attack in Kolkata and appraises that foreigners (British, Russians, Americans) are easily found there and tells that during the attack, A-1 would accompany,” reads a page of the charge-sheet.
“A-1 discusses with the member on the other side about the locations of Mother Teresa House in Kolkata that is at Ripon Street, Sealdah Railway Station, Park Circus and tells that the foreigners viz. Russians, Britishers and Americans often visit that place and they can be attacked since they had bombarded the ISIS in Syria and Libya. He tells that the ISIS is accruing loss and advises the member to remain in disguise as a non-Muslim,” reads the NIA document.
Any attack on Missionaries of Charity headquarters would have attracted worldwide attention.
The revelations also underline how Bengal is increasingly becoming a target of IS operatives who have active connections with recruiters of terror networks in Bangladesh.
Mussa, 25, was recently interrogated by officials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Rapid Action Battalion Bangladesh for his alleged links with the massacre at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery, where terrorists slaughtered 20 people, mostly with knives, in July. The 12-hour suicide attack was claimed by the IS.
The people with whom Mussa used to discuss his Kolkata plans through cellphone app Telegram were Abu Sulaiman, IS operative and alleged mastermind of the Dhaka attack, Safi Omar, who is an Indian Mujahideen suspect, and other followers of IS and Jamaat-e-Mujahideen, a banned terrorist organisation of Bangladesh.
Based on intelligence inputs, Mussa was arrested by the Intelligence Bureau and the NIA from Visva-Bharati Fast Passenger at Burdwan railway station. He was carrying a knife - apparently to kill a businessman in order to prove his worth for bigger assignments. He was also carrying a camera to record the killing.
A resident of Labhpur in the state’s Birbhum district, he is now lodged in Alipore Central Jail under heavy security.