Nation-wide raids were conducted on Saturday against Islamic State (IS) supporters and cadre as part of a coordinated operation by central intelligence agencies to counter threat from the terror group.
Over 25 pro-Islamic State individuals were detained in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Gujarat and Rajasthan.
Search operations are continuing and more individuals are likely to be detained in three other states. The raids were conducted on inputs provided to the respective state police forces.
Sources said the detained individuals came to notice “for leanings towards ISIS and making preparations for violent action”. Interrogations and forensic examination are currently underway.
CNN-News18 had reported on Tuesday that the Tamil Nadu Police arrested Erode-based Islamic State sympathisers Asif Mustheen and his associate Yasir Nawab John and recovered a knife, a black IS flag, incriminating documents and digital media devices from their possession.
According to top intelligence sources, the men were on the radar of the agencies for some time.
They said Mustheen was in contact with IS-Core in Syria/Iraq and had expressed his willingness to carry out a suicide attack in India with the intension to target Hindus, monasteries and police stations.
In another IB operation on July 24, Bengaluru Police had arrested a city-based pro-Al Qaeda (AQ) subject Akhtar Hussain Laskar, who originally hails from Assam.
Based on Hussain’s revelations, one of his Salem-based associates — Mohd. Juba, originally from West Bengal — was arrested by Tamil Nadu Police.
Both Akhter and Juba were propagating AQ ideologies through social media platforms, the sources said. They added that the duo was in contact with various foreign (Bangladesh & Afghanistan) as well as India-based pro-AQ entities.
“They also intended to do ‘hijrath’ to J&K and join AQ ranks for ‘jihad’ against India,” they said.