The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been able to extract conversations that suspected ISIS operative Mohammad Masiuddin alias Musa, who was recently interrogated by the FBI , allegedly had with Syria-based members of the dreaded outfit using cloud-based instant messaging services.
The conversations accessed revealed Masiuddin’s, take on issues ranging from Sharia, taxation policies, Kashmir issue,the Orlando night club shooting incident in Florida, USA, and socio-political parties of India including ruling BJP, RSS and VHP, apart from the obvious hatred ISIS has for Non-Muslims, and Muslims not practicing ISIS ideology.
The messages give an insight into how suspected ISIS operatives in India are pursuing their alleged terror plans, which sometimes include sophisticated maneuvering to avoid detection, and at times includes simple tactics such as ordering a pepper spray online.
According to the NIA chargesheet, the alleged chats took place between Masiuddin, Shafi Armar, Abu Suleiman and other suspected ISIS members on cloud-based instant messaging service Telegram in 2015 and 2016. Musa, a resident of Birbhum,West Bengal, was arrested earlier this year. Armar, formerly with proscribed outfit Indian Mujahideen, escaped India and is believed to be based in Sryia, while Abu Suleiman is a Bangladeshi ISIS/ JMB operative according to NIA.
In one of the chats, Musa asks Armar to share tactics of “stab and escape”. The probe agency had recovered a knife and a sword from Musa and through the chats the 27-year-old had with Armar, it appears that it was on the behest of Musa’s ISIS handlers that he had plans to kill non-Muslims using these weapons.
In another part of the conversation, Musa boasts about how all JMB members have become a part of ISIS and the dreaded outfit has a total membership of 10,000 in India. Musa, according to NIA documents, also does not seem to be pleased with the lone-wolf strategy of ISIS and believes that the group should organise and restrict itself to carrying out low intensity terror attacks to avoid detection.
As reported earlier, Musa was asked by his handlers to target tourists in India, especially British, Russian, and American nationals. To execute the same, Musa had traveled to Kashmir as well as Kolkata to prepare for the attack. In Kashmir, Musa stayed as a tourist in hotels and houseboats and even allegedly admitted that he was the one who raised ISIS flags following Friday prayers in Srinagar’s Jama Masjid. Musa however seemed disappointed by the situation in the valley criticizing the armed insurgency in Kashmir and calling Kashmiri mujahideen “impure”.
“A-1 (Musa) discusses with ISIS operatives on the other side of the chat that Kashmir is presently full of Mujhids with impure ideologies (post- Nabi) who are fighting for Kashmiri land whereas the actual requirement is for them to support Shariat,” the chargesheet reads. After praising Omar Mateen, the Orlando nightclub shooter, Musa allegedly lectures other group members against elections, democracy and taxes stating that Indian tax money is used for anti-ISIS activities. NIA quoted Musa saying that the Hindu population in India is “close” to BJP, RSS and VHP and must be targeted.
Rest of the chat reflects the ill-planning of the arrested ISIS operative especially the part where in he discuses how to procure pepper spray through Snapdeal by using a fake ID. Musa ordered under the name Murugan Kumar and is quoted saying to his handlers that Cobra Magnum pepper spray is a dangerous liquid weapon and is capable of killing anyone without proof as it blinds people for 2-3 hours.