In a significant development, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Uttar Pradesh Police has apprehended four individuals allegedly associated with the Aligarh module of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The arrests came after diligent investigative efforts, and they shed light on the continued threat posed by extremist groups in the region.
The suspects, identified as Rakib Imam Ansari, Naved Siddiqui, Mohd Noman, and Mohd Nazim, were apprehended on separate occasions in Aligarh and Sambhal. Ansari, a 29-year-old with degrees in both BTech and MTech, was arrested on Friday, while Siddiqui, pursuing a BSc, Noman, holding a BA (Honours), and Nazim, a graduate, were apprehended on Saturday.
During the arrests, the ATS confiscated banned ISIS literature, mobile phones, and pen drives from the accused individuals, further implicating their connections to the terror outfit.
The ATS investigation revealed that these individuals were allegedly involved in a plot to overthrow the elected government through “violent terror jihad” and establish ‘Sharia’ law. Their activities included distributing ISIS-related materials among like-minded individuals, with the aim of radicalizing and recruiting new members into the extremist group.
Moreover, the arrested suspects were found to be engaged in both mental and physical preparations for acts of “terror jihad” through online platforms. Their sinister plans extended to plotting a major action within the state of Uttar Pradesh and potentially across the country.
It was uncovered that the four accused initially came into contact with each other through their involvement with the Students’ Union of Aligarh Muslim University. Under the guise of this students’ union, they sought to connect new recruits with ISIS, effectively concealing their true intentions.
Earlier this month, Additional Director General of Police (ATS) Mohit Aggarwal had disclosed that the unit had received information about radicalized individuals influenced by ISIS, who were actively planning anti-national activities and forming a jihadi group. These individuals were acting under the guidance of their handlers and were allegedly preparing for a major attack in Uttar Pradesh.
In a related development, the police had previously arrested Abdullah Arsalan, Maaz bin Tariq, and Waziudin, all of whom were believed to have links to ISIS. Information leading to the recent arrests of the four individuals on Friday and Saturday was obtained during the interrogation of these suspects.
As per the ATS release, legal action is being pursued against the four arrested individuals, who will be presented before the court to face the charges against them. The arrests and subsequent investigations underscore the ongoing efforts of law enforcement agencies to combat extremist ideologies and protect national security.
The situation serves as a stark reminder of the vigilance required in the fight against terrorism and the crucial role that intelligence and law enforcement agencies play in safeguarding communities from such threats.