NIA raids house of suspected Islamic State operative in Srinagar
New Delhi: National Investigation Agency on Monday raided the house of a suspected Islamic State operative in Srinagar as part of an investigation in a case related to activities of some individuals from Kerala linked to the global terror group, an official said.
The house of Uzair Azhar Bhat, who is suspected to have been part of the Kerala module of the Islamic State — also known as ISIS — was raided at the Karfali Mohalla locality in downtown city, a spokesperson of the federal anti-terror agency said.
The official said digital devices seized from the house during the search are being examined and further investigations are in progress.
In 2021, the NIA had started a probe into Mohammed Ameen alias “Abu Yahya” of Kadannamanna, Kerala, who had been running various Islamic State propaganda channels on different social media platforms.
“Through these channels, he was propagating violent Jihadi ideologies of ISIS and was radicalizing and recruiting new members to this ISIS module. He and his associates had even identified certain individuals for targeted killings,” the spokesperson said.
The NIA said “they had also made plans to undertake ‘Hijrah’ (migration) to Jammu and Kashmir for engaging in terrorist acts and had raised funds from various sources for this trip”.
“During the probe, it was found that Ameen was in touch with Deepthi Marla of Kerala, a converted Muslim, married to Anas Abdul Rahiman of Mangalore. In 2015, she had gone to Dubai to pursue studies where she met Mizha Siddeeque and both women developed an inclination towards ISIS,” the spokesperson said.
In 2019, the official said they tried to do ‘Hijrah’ to Khorasan (Afghanistan) and reached Tehran, Iran. After reaching Tehran, their contact with ISIS operatives based in Khorasan could not be established.
“They both returned to India, and Marla got in touch with Ameen, Obaid Hamid Matta, Madesh Shankar alias Abdullah and others and made plans to undertake Hijrah to ISIS-administered territory.
“In January 2020, she went to Srinagar to meet Matta to plan the Hijrah and stayed in Srinagar for one week,” the spokesperson said, adding that one of the common contacts between Marla and Matta was Bhat, who is suspected to have been part of the conspiracy.