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Illegal entry, forged documents and radicalization: NIA unearths Al-Qaeda's terrorist conspiracy in India

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) files a chargesheet against four foreign nationals and one Indian in an Al-Qaeda conspiracy case along the Indo-Bangladesh border, revealing their illegal entry, forged document use, and involvement in fundraising and radicalization activities.

Illegal entry, forged documents and radicalization: NIA unearths Al-Qaeda's terrorist conspiracy in India snt
First Published Nov 11, 2023, 4:18 PM IST

On Friday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted a chargesheet against five individuals, comprising four foreign nationals, for their involvement in a carefully orchestrated conspiracy by Al-Qaeda operatives situated along the Indo-Bangladesh border, to carry out terrorist acts and activities in India. The chargesheet, filed in an NIA court in Ahmedabad, identifies the accused as Mohd. Sojib Miyan, Munna Khan, Jahangir Ajharul Islam, Abdul Latif, and Farid.

Also read: Pune ISIS module's tech-savy accused used codes for IEDs, wanted to harm 'infidels': NIA's chargesheet

Four terrorists—Mohd. Sojib Miyan, Munna Khan, Jahangir, and Abdul Latif—illegally entered India by exploiting forged and fraudulent identity documents, crossing the Indo-Bangladesh border. Initially investigated by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), it was revealed that these individuals were affiliated with the banned terrorist organization Al-Qaeda. Their activities included fundraising and recruiting Muslim youth to join terrorist ranks.

Due to the national security implications and international connections, the home ministry transferred the case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in June 2023.

As per the NIA investigation, the accused, Sojib Miyan, Munna Khan, Jahangir, and Abdul Latif, infiltrated into India using forged documents to operate clandestinely and further their terrorist agenda. Their activities extended beyond illegal entry, involving the active motivation, radicalization, and indoctrination of vulnerable Muslim youth in India with the extremist ideology of Al-Qaeda.

Additionally, they were implicated in the collection of funds, transferring them to handlers and agents associated with the banned terrorist organization Al-Qaeda on both sides of the border, according to the NIA.

According to the investigations, two fugitive individuals, Shariful Islam and Sahiba, are identified as members of the banned terrorist organization Al-Qaeda and are considered crucial handlers for the arrested individuals who infiltrated from across the border. The latter entered India based on explicit instructions from these handlers. The handlers played a pivotal role by providing extensive training to the accused, which included the use of covert communication applications to evade detection, ensuring the secrecy and anonymity of their activities. Additionally, these handlers were actively involved in the radicalization and motivation of vulnerable Muslim youth in India.

Efforts are actively underway to identify the handlers through diplomatic channels, with the NIA having initiated a formal request for this purpose.

Through extensive investigations, the NIA has conclusively determined that foreign nationals enter India through illegal means, acquire counterfeit ID cards and documents, secure employment, and clandestinely engage in activities on behalf of foreign terrorist organizations, specifically Al-Qaeda, operating in the form of sleeper cells.

Also read: NIA conducts raids in 10 states to crack down on human trafficking; check details

In the course of probing the Al-Qaeda conspiracy case, numerous foreign agents were identified, having discreetly settled in various parts of India using forged identity documents. These individuals facilitated the safe passage of other illegal infiltrators, offering shelter and providing them with fraudulent Indian identity documents.

Coincidentally, on Thursday, the NIA conducted raids across multiple states to dismantle human trafficking networks facilitating the illegal entry of immigrants from Bangladesh and the settlement of illegal immigrants, including Rohingya, in India. The operations led to the arrest of 44 individuals. The accused have been charged under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, IPC, Foreigners Act, and Passport (Entry into India) Rules.

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