The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has issued a high alert directive to the Anti-Terror Squads (ATS) in five states, including Assam. The five states are Assam , Maharashtra , Tamil Nadu , Karnataka and Gujarat.
This development comes after the NIA filed a supplementary charge sheet on August 30, implicating two active members of the module in a conspiracy to spread terror and violence in India.
The accused, identified as Md. Akbar Ali alias Akbar Ali and Abul Kalam Azad, were part of an active terror module affiliated with the proscribed terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent (AQIS), known as the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT). The NIA's investigations revealed their involvement in strengthening Al-Qaeda/ABT and grooming youth for potential terror acts.
Both Akbar Ali and Abul Kalam Azad were arrested on April 5, 2023, and have now been charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UA(P) Act). The NIA had previously filed a charge sheet against eight other accused in August of the previous year.
Investigations further unveiled that the two accused were co-conspirators in organizing meetings with the aim of expanding AQIS activities to various religious places in neighboring districts of Assam. The radicalization and mobilization of individuals were carried out under the active guidance of the module's Bangladeshi handlers, including individuals named Zakir, Mehdi Hassan, Aminul Islam, Mehboor Rahman, Mehboob Alam, and Sultan.
The case originally came to light when the Assam Police filed a report on March 4, 2022. Subsequently, the NIA took over the case on March 22, 2022, under relevant sections of the IPC, UA (P) Act, Passports Act, and Foreigners Act. The ABT module, operating in the Barpeta District of Assam, was led by Bangladeshi national Saiful Islam, along with Haroon Rashid and Md. Suman.
Saiful Islam, posing as an Arabic teacher at the 'Shaikhul Hind Mahmadul Hasan Jamiul Huda Islamic Academy' (Dhakaliapara Madarsa) and as an imam at the Dhakaliapara Masjid, was actively involved in the indoctrination and radicalization of Muslims. Their mission was to recruit individuals to join Jihadi outfits and work within sleeper cells (Ansars) to establish a base for Al-Qaeda and its various manifestations and outfits in India.
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