Amid growing apprehensions about the Biden administration’s purported partiality towards Islamist factions in Bangladesh, a startling revelation has emerged from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in India. The agency has disclosed that ISIS is utilizing specialized “roaming trainers” to impart knowledge on the construction of improvised explosive devices (IEDs). This alarming information was unearthed during the meticulous interrogation of ISIS operatives Imran Khan and Mohd Yunus Saki. Both were apprehended in connection with an investigation into the confiscation of explosive materials in the district of Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, in the year 2022. Live Mint reported a similar arrest related to a transnational conspiracy involving Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Subsequent to acquiring these perilous IED-making skills, Imran Khan and Mohd Yunus Saki orchestrated training camps for ISIS sleeper cells dispersed across various Indian states. These states included Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh, with Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra also within their scope of operations. CNBCtv18.com highlighted the arrest of another NIA most-wanted terrorist linked to ISIS, further emphasizing the gravity of the situation.
Imran Khan was pinpointed as the chief architect behind the IED confiscation in Chittorgarh. The seized IED was initially intended for the training of new recruits in the art of bomb-making. However, the vigilant actions of security agencies thwarted their malevolent plans, compelling Khan and Saki to abscond to Maharashtra.
The probe into the Chittorgarh IED case unearthed the existence of an ISIS-inspired extremist group named “SUFA.” The NIA ascertained that both Saki and Imran Khan were fervently disseminating ISIS ideologies prior to their capture. The agency had previously confiscated explosives and components integral to IED fabrication from the accused individuals.
Further in-depth investigations divulged that the apprehended individuals had procured an assortment of materials and substances specifically for IED fabrication, aimed at instigating terror in Rajasthan and other Indian territories. Both Khan and Saki were found to be highly proficient in IED fabrication techniques and had conducted training sessions at Imran Khan’s poultry farm, which was later seized by the NIA.
After relocating to Pune, Imran Khan and Mohd Yunus Saki organized a minimum of two IED training and fabrication workshops in the city within the last year. Recently, the Times of India reported on a similar operation in Delhi, exposing ISI’s infiltration and radicalization efforts, which adds another layer to the complexity of the issue.
In a tangentially related case, the NIA apprehended Mohammed Azarudeen alias Azar, an individual implicated in an ISIS-inspired car IED explosion in Coimbatore in 2022. Azar is currently detained in Kerala in relation to another case.
In a distinct incident that transpired in Uttar Pradesh, two ISIS operatives, Atif Muzaffar and Md Faisal Khan, were adjudged guilty by a Lucknow Special Court for the assassination of a retired school principal, Ram Babu Shukla. The murder was executed to instill fear and propagate terror in the region, thereby advancing the malevolent agenda of ISIS.
Moreover, reports have emerged that ISIS is actively targeting members of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) and equipping them with IED-making techniques. The primary objective is to execute terrorist attacks in Bangladesh, predominantly aimed at secular individuals and eminent leaders of the Awami League.
According to confidential sources, erstwhile members of insurgency groups operating in northeastern Indian states are extending shelter and support to ISIS sleeper cells. These insurgency groups are reportedly discontented with the Awami League in Bangladesh for dismantling their concealed hideouts and clandestine training camps. These camps were previously situated on Bangladeshi territory and were instrumental in perpetuating cross-border terrorism within India.
In a similar vein, the acting chairman of the ultra-Islamist Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Tarique Rahman, has been sentenced to life imprisonment in absentia for his direct involvement in cross-border terrorism.