‘Girl from Germany’ suspected to be running Telegram network of IS sympathisers

An Islamic State suspect has led the national investigation agency to Nau Lee, a social group on the encrypted messaging service Telegram, which he claimed was run by a ‘girl from Germany’.

india Updated: Jun 01, 2017 07:38 IST
Azaan Javaid
Azaan Javaid
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
NIA,Germany,Islamic State
(Reuters File )

A German woman known by her vague Telegram group name Nau Lee is suspected to be the pivot of a multinational set of Islamic State (IS) sympathisers, including Indians.

She is said to have motivated IS suspect Amzad Khan, a 37-year-old Indian who was arrested by Saudi Arabian police last September and deported this April.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA), the nation’s anti-terrorism organisation, is verifying his statement about the “girl from Germany” who he said was the admin or controller of the Telegram group he was part of.

Close to 20 people from nations as diverse as the Maldives, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany and India were members of the social media group, called Nau Lee, agency officials said.

Telegram is an encrypted messaging service similar to social media applications such as WhatsApp and has emerged as a favourite online tool used by IS terrorists and sympathisers.

The NIA could approach law-enforcement agencies of countries mentioned in the group. But Khan’s “claims have to be ascertained before our investigators can decide an action plan”, an official said.

The members followed a common ideology and shared IS-related news and posts within the group, according to the NIA interrogation report, which is available with Hindustan Times.

Khan said in his statement that he was an active Twitter user and operated his handle with an alias, Ayan Khan Salafi. He began following around “August or September” 2015 a person from the Maldives, who added him to the Telegram group.

Khan couldn’t remember his name now.

The Telegram address got him in touch with suspected IS operative Mohammad Masiuddin alias Musa of West Bengal. Arrested last year, he is the lone Indian to be interrogated by the FBI of the US for links with the world’s most brutal terrorist outfit.

The NIA has accused Masiuddin of waving IS flags in Srinagar’s Jamia Masjid area in May 2016.

Masiuddin allegedly added Khan to another Telegram group filled with IS sympathisers, but he couldn’t follow their chats as the members communicated in Bangla.

The language barrier prompted Khan to detach himself from that group.

Above all else, he is accused of being in touch with Syria-based IS recruiter Yusuf-al-Hindi. He allegedly wanted to go to Syria, but his romance with a medical student from Uttar Pradesh held him back.

First Published: Jun 01, 2017 07:19 IST