Russia has assured India full cooperation and intelligence sharing on terrorism-related matters following the detention of an Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist who underwent special training to carry out a suicide attack against suspended BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma for offensive comments on Prophet Mohammed.
Sources told News18 that a delegation of India’s security apparatus was briefed in Moscow shortly after the terrorist identified as Azamov, who belongs to a Central Asian country, was detained.
Sources told News18 that Azamov, born in 1992, was recruited by the ISIS in Turkey, where he underwent training, and was sent to Russia to get an Indian visa. He was assured local assistance on arriving in New Delhi, said sources.
During his interrogation, Azamov reportedly revealed that he was radicalised online and hadn’t met any ISIS leaders. He said he was sent to Russia as part of the second leg of the operation, said sources.
According to Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), the foreign national was recruited by one of the Islamic State’s ringleaders as a suicide bomber sometime between April and June 2022, while in Turkey.
“The Federal Security Service has identified and apprehended in Russia a member of the outlawed (by the Russian Federation) Islamic State international terrorist organisation. The detainee is a native of a Central Asian country, who planned to commit a terrorist attack against a member of India’s ruling circles by blowing himself up," the FSB said.
The terrorist’s “ideological indoctrination was conducted remotely via Telegram messenger accounts and during personal meetings in Istanbul with an IS representative", the Russian Federal Security Service’s Center for Public Relations (CPR) said.
The FSB noted that the would-be suicide bomber swore allegiance to the IS Emir (chief), after which he was instructed to leave for Russia, draw up the necessary documents and fly to India to carry out the attack, the report said.
In a video of his interrogation released by the CPR on Monday, the terrorist, whose face was blurred, said he swore allegiance to the IS Emir in April 2022 and underwent special training, after which he flew to Russia, from where he was to travel to India.
“I was supposed to be given things there (in India) to commit a terrorist attack at the behest of the IS for insulting the Prophet Muhammad," he said in broken Russian.
BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma was suspended and the party’s Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal was expelled after their controversial remarks against the Prophet sparked protests in Muslim countries early this year.
Dreaded terror group ISIS and all its affiliate organisations, responsible for a series of savage attacks and killings in Iraq and Syria, have been banned in India under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Recruitment of youths to the outfit from India and their radicalisation is a matter of serious concern for the country especially with regard to its likely impact on national security when such youth return to India, the Home Ministry has said while banning the terrorist group.
The Islamic State/Islamic State of Iraq and Levant/ Islamic State of Iraq and Syria/Daesh and all its manifestations have been declared outlawed in India under UAPA, a notification issued by the Ministry said last year.