Mumbai: The Maharashtra ATS on Wednesday revealed that foreign handlers gave money to Muddabir Sheikh - having link with the ISIS - to form an anti-India group to spread the ideology of the terror organization.
On January 22, the 33-year-old Mudabbir was arrested in a joint raid by the Maharashtra ATS and the NIA. He was picked up from Mumbra in Maharashtra. NIA claimed that he was one of the key recruiters for ISIS in India.
Mudabbir was asked to spread the ISIS ideology across India and to identify youths who could join the ISIS. Another suspected sleeper cell Rizwan Nawazuddin, who was recently arrested from UP, was helping Muddabir in his mission.
Police sources said, Hawala channel was used to transfer funds to Muddabir.
"He (Mudabbir) was given the specific task of identifying people who can be sent abroad to join ISIS. The handlers had provided online Jehadi literature material to Mudabbir. The online material contained instructions on how to assemble explosives etc," police sources said.
They were also asked to form multi-city groups.
Further investigation revealed that Nawazuddin started reading about ISIS in 2014. He was also in touch with the four youths who had gone missing from Malwani in Mumbai. "Nawazuddin met them twice and one of the meetings happened at Haji Ali," sources said.
Maharashtra ATS is likely to seek custody of Muddabir, Mohammad Hussain Khan and Imran Khan Pathan arrested by the NIA in a nationwide operation before the Republic Day celebration.