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24-year-old ‘highly radicalised’ ISIS operative arrested in Varanasi; NIA Report

In connection with the ISIS ‘Voice of Hind’ module investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at two sites in Varanasi and Delhi on Wednesday, and a 24-year-old ‘extremely radicalised’ man was apprehended. He was involved in ISIS’s recruiting of Indian teenagers to fight the Indian State. In the ISIS ‘Voice of Hind’ module investigation, the NIA carried out raids and searches at two sites and detained a highly radicalised agent.

In two searches by the NIA in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, and Delhi, Basit Kalam Siddiqui (24), a native of Varanasi, was taken into custody. ‘ The case relates to ISIS’s plot to radicalise and enlist naive youth in India to carry out violent jihad against the Indian State by carrying out acts if terrorist violence,’ the NIA said in a statement.

According to the statement, it was discovered through investigations that Basit Kalam Siddiqui was actively involved in radicalization and recruiting young people for ISIS from India. It went on to say that the online propaganda was being spread through a new online magazine called ‘Voice of Khorasan’ following the NIA’s discovery of the ‘Voice of Hind’ module and the arrest of six suspects, including the so-called Amir of the ISJK, Umar Nisar @ Qasim Khurasani, as part of a revised strategy.

According to NIA, Basit Kalam was actively communicating with ISIS operational handlers and engaged in the development, publication, and dissemination of ISIS propaganda through the magazine ‘Voice of Khurasan’.  He was working to create an explosive called ‘Black Powder’ and learning how to utilise other deadly chemicals to create Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on the orders of his ISIS superiors headquartered in Afghanistan.

Through a number of Telegram Groups he ran, he was also teaching others how to make bombs in preparation for carrying out terrorist acts against important infrastructure and the general public. He was also getting ready to travel to Khorasan on a ‘hijrat’ to fight with ISIS fighters who were still active, the statement continued.

NIA has confiscated incriminating items during its searches, including handwritten notes pertaining to the creation of IEDs and explosive ingredients, mobile phones, computers, pen drives, etc. At this case, the NIA had already filed two chargesheets—one main and one supplementary—against the six accused parties in the NIA Special Court in Delhi.


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