Pune Muslim teen wanted to be IS suicide bomber, says ATS
A convent-educated Muslim girl radicalised by Islamic State (IS) sympathisers was mentally prepared to even serve as a suicide bomber, investigations by the Maharashtra anti-terrorism squad have revealed.
The 16-year-old student of a prominent Pune college is now being questioned and de-radicalised by the ATS after her name cropped up during the probe of an Indian Oil Corporation employee arrested from Rajasthan last week for alleged links with the IS.
Pune ATS officer Bhanupratap Barge said the girl is now being counselled with the help of her parents and clerics.
ATS sources said the teen, who was willing to travel to Syria, could reveal the radical organisation’s network of sympathisers spread across the country.
Preliminary investigation has revealed that she was in connection with the IOC employee, Mohammed Sirajuddin, and several other men from other parts of India.
Sources said the girl was drawn to the activities of IS after watching news reports about it and later gathered information from the internet and established contact through Facebook.
She came in contact with a Sri Lankan national who was suspected to be an IS operative and had already been arrested by the police there. The girl then was diverted to Sirajuddin, according to ATS sources. She kept in touch with this group formed by Sirajuddin on Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram.
The girl, who belongs to a well-to-do family, started showing symptoms such as staying alone and wearing traditional clothes, revealed her parents. “We do not believe that she would go such an extent,” her shocked parents said.