India’s counterterrorism police in the western state of Maharashtra have busted a terrorist cell affiliate to the Islamic State. On Thursday, security services arrested the fifth member of the so-called “Maharashtra ISIS module,” a sleeper cell plotting terrorist attacks on Indian soil. The members of the terror outfit included an IT engineer and a physician, media reports confirm.
The Islamic State, created in 2013 within the territories of Syria and Iraq, grew into a global jihadist force during President Barack Obama’s term in office. Under President Donald Trump’s watch, the ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq was wiped out by the U.S. military and allied forces. President Trump also ordered the airstrike that killed ISIS “caliph,” or chief, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
While the ISIS has lost its territories, the idea of an Islamic caliphate still holds sway among Muslims across the world, including India. The terrorist group enjoyed substantial following among Indian Muslims, particular in the Muslim majority areas. ISIS flags were repeatedly displayed at protest rallies and Islamic festivities in Kashmir.
“NIA arrests Pune doctor in Maharashtra ISIS module case,” by Nadeem Inamdar, Hindustan Times, July 27, 2023
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday made the fifth arrest in connection with Maharashtra ISIS module case for promoting violent activities of the banned terrorist group. Renowned anaesthesiologist Dr Adnan Ali Sarkar was taken into custody by the NIA sleuths following raid at his Kondhwa residence in Pune.
The NIA in a statement released said that it was the fifth arrest in the case registered on June 28. Four others arrested by the central agency on July 3 after extensive searches were identified as Tabish Nasser Siddiqui from Mumbai, Zubair Noor Mohammed Shaikh alias Abu Nusaiba from Pune, and Sharjeel Shaikh and Zulfikar Ali Barodawala from Thane.
The NIA release stated that during the raid several incriminating materials, such as electronic gadgets and several documents related to ISIS, were found at Sarkar’s Kondhwa house.
The accused, according to the probe agency, hatched a conspiracy to further ISIS terrorist activities, known by different names such as Islamic State (IS)/Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL)/Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/Daish/ Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP)/ISIS Wilayat Khorasan/Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham Khorasan (ISIS-K), the release said.