Mohsin Ahmed, 22, the Islamic State (IS) operative arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after searches in Delhi’s Batla House on Saturday, is a second-year engineering student of Jamia Milia Islamia University, a top source told CNN-News18 exclusively.
Originally from Bihar, Ahmed came to Kota for engineering preparation two years ago. During this period, he got in touch with the IS operatives in the Middle East and Syria, said the source.
He was in regular touch with the group members and got radicalised, added the source.
During the radicalisation training, Ahmed was put in touch with a 28-year-old woman operative, who asked him to collect money for jihad and send to Alhol camp in Syria through cryptocurrency. The Alhol camp is for women jihadi fighters.
During his interrogation, Ahmed said that he fell in love with the woman, in what they call “jihadi love” or honeytraps, said the source.
Women in the Alhol camp collect money across the world through jihadi love, claimed sources.
#EXCLUSIVE | Jamia student, an ISIS radical arrested. ISIS thread deepening in India?
Exclusive Inputs by @manojkumargupta
— News18 (@CNNnews18) August 8, 2022
Ahmed said that major funding for the IS comes from the drug trade in Afghanistan.
Sitting in Batla House, he got in touch with many people across the globe — Syria, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka – for crowdfunding. He started crypto trading and mainly traded in Bitcoin.
He was collecting money through the cryptocurrency. In India, he collected almost Rs 4 lakh through UPI, said the source.
The NIA is also investigating WazirX and other crypto wallets.
“Ahmed was extremely radicalised. He was developing some extreme intents and was picked up to ensure he doesn’t do anything major. We are checking his associates in the university and Kota. This is a major arrest before Independence Day,” said the source.
‘SOMETHING BIG AHEAD OF I-DAY’
The NIA raided 13 spots across seven states, including Maharashtra, and detained 48 people – 13 on August 1 and 35 on July 31 – with links to the IS, foiling their plan for “something big” against India.
According to the exclusive details from top intelligence sources, the detentions were a result of the interrogation of Zufri Johar Damodi, who was arrested from Bhatkal in Karnataka in August 2021 for his alleged link to the IS.
With leads from Damodi, the agency was keeping an eye on Voice of Hind, an India-centric IS magazine, for the past one year, the source told CNN-News18 exclusively.
The agency noticed that the magazine had very minute details of the on-ground situation in India, which could not have been possible without local resources, said the source.
This led them to the 48 men linked to the IS, he said.
The 48 men, the agency source said, were creating content for the Voice of Hind and other ISKP-related groups.