The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday carried out searches at 16 places in Jammu and Kashmir in connection with two cases– ‘ISIS-Voice of Hind’ case and the ‘Bathindi IED recovery’ case. The anti-terror agency carried out simultaneous searches in various districts in the Union Territory with the assistance of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Jammu and Kashmir Police.
The NIA had also conducted searches at two locations in Karnataka’s Bhatkal and arrested key accused Jufri Jawhar Damudi in the ‘ISIS-Voice of Hind’ case. The case was registered on June 29 this year in connection with the conspiracy of the proscribed terrorist organization the Islamic State (ISIS) to radicalise and recruit impressionable Muslim youth in India to wage violent jihad against India.
NIA said that ISIS terrorists operating from various conflict zones along with ISIS cadres in India have created a network by assuming pseudo-online identities wherein ISIS-related propaganda material is disseminated for radicalising and recruiting members to the fold of ISIS. The NIA had conducted multiple searches in Jammu and Kashmir on July 11 this year in the same case and had arrested three accused– Umar Nisar, Tanveer Ahmad Bhat and Rameez Ahmad Lone, all residents of Achabal area of Anantnag district.
A cyber entity ‘Abu Hazir Al Badri’ a key operative of ISIS who is involved in the translation of ‘Voice of Hind’ to South Indian languages and its further dissemination was identified as Jufri Jawhar Damudi, and arrested on August 6 this year in a joint operation of NIA and Karnataka Police. The agency said that the cyber ID was also used to radicalise and recruit people. “Jufri Jawhar is the younger brother of Adnan Hasan Damudi who was arrested for ISIS-related activities in 2016 and is currently under detention in a separate NIA case,” the agency said.
Jufri Jawhar Damudi was in touch with ISIS leadership, currently operating out of Afghanistan-Pakistan (Af-Pak) region who provided him propaganda material and also gave directions for its dissemination.
“For this purpose, Jufri had created multiple pseudonymous IDs on encrypted chat platforms and was also a member of various online propaganda channels of ISIS,” the agency added. During earlier searches in the ‘ISIS-Voice of Hind’ case, NIA claimed to have seized a large number of digital devices such as mobile phones, hard disks, SD cards etc. However, the second case in which the NIA has been conducting raids is linked to Bathindi IED recovery in which the agency had carried out searches on September 21 this year at eight locations in Jammu and Kashmir’s Anantnag, Baramulla, Kulgam, Srinagar, Doda and Kishtwar districts.
The case was initially registered on June 27 this year at Bahu Fort district Jammu relating to the recovery of five kg IED from a Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist in Jammu’s Bathindi area on the same day. The conspiracy by LeT was aimed at causing an explosion in Jammu using the IED. NIA had re-registered the case on July 19, and had earlier arrested three persons in this case. The investigation has revealed that Pakistan based handlers of proscribed terror outfit LeT and their associates based in J-K were planning terrorist activities in the Union Territory using the pseudo-acronym ‘The Resistance Front’, an offshoot of LeT, so as to maintain plausible deniability.