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NIA Arrests Bengaluru Doctor for Allegedly Conspiring with Syria-based Islamic State Operatives

Abdur Rahman.

Abdur Rahman.

Abdur Rahman, a 28-year-old doctor with an M.S. from Ramaiah Medical College in Bengaluru, has been accused of using his knowledge of medicine to help ISIS terrorists.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Tuesday arrested an ophthalmologist for his alleged links with the banned terrorist outfit Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP). He has been booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Abdur Rahman, a 28-year-old doctor with an M.S. from Ramaiah Medical College in Bengaluru, has been accused of using his knowledge of medicine to help ISIS terrorists.

"He was in the process of developing a medical application for helping the injured ISIS cadres in the conflict zones and a weaponry-related application for the benefit of ISIS fighters," said an NIA statement.

NIA officials raided three premises in Bengaluru after Rahman's arrest and seized digital devices, a mobile phone and a laptop containing what the probe agency said was incriminating material. Rahman will be produced in a Delhi court and the NIA will seek further custody to interrogate him.

The agency officials said Rahman in 2014 had visited an ISIS medical camp in Syria for treatment of ISIS terrorists and stayed with them.

"During interrogation, arrested accused Abdur Rahman confessed that he was conspiring with accused Jahanzaib Sami and other Syria-based ISIS operatives on secure messaging platforms to further ISIS activities," said the NIA.

The MS Ramaiah college, where Rahman was a student and a junior resident, was taken aback by questions regarding one of their faculty members.

Confirming that Rahman had just completed his MS Ophthalmology course in July, the college fought shy of being aware of his activities.

"He was admitted to the college in 2017 under the government quota, through the Karnataka Examinations Authority (conducted by the state government). The college is not aware of his activities outside the campus," it said in a press release.

Rahman appears to have been a merit student. Not only was he able to get into a government quota seat in a top private college, he had also completed his MBBS in the state's most sought-after medical college in Bengaluru. He had graduated with an MBBS from the Bangalore Medical College and Research Insitute -- a government-run institute -- in 2014 and had got into the postgraduate programme three years later.

Incidentally, 2014 was also when he had apparently visited Syria, according to NIA authorities.

Rahman came under the scanner after the NIA arrested two Pune residents earlier in the case. Pune student Sadiya Anwar Sheikh and gym owner Nabeel Siddick Khatri were allegedly in touch with ISKP accused Jahanzaib Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh from Okhla Vihar in Delhi's Jamia Nagar area.

As per investigators from the NIA and the Delhi Police, the couple had links with ISKP and were found to be involved in "subversive and anti-national activities". They were also found to be in touch with Abdullah Basith, who was already lodged in Tihar jail in connection with the ISIS Abu Dabhi Module of NIA.

(With inputs from Deepa Balakrishnan in Bengaluru)