Gujarat police say BJP among those targeted by ISIS of Sri Lankan origin



Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad Sunil Joshi

In a widening investigation into an ISIS plot to use a group of Sri Lankans to carry out attacks in India, police have arrested a person who allegedly facilitated the four-member group, now held in Gujarat, on terrorism charges, to obtain air tickets. According to the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Gujarat, among their targets were leaders of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and members of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the BJP’s ideological mentor.

Officers of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID) took the suspect into custody in Maligawatte a few days ago.

Authoritative sources said the group of ISIS terrorists, of Sri Lankan origin, had been arrested at the Ahamedabad International Airport in India. Security authorities in both countries are trying to establish whether other ISIS terrorists, of Sri Lankan terror cells, had arrived in India before the four, arrested last Sunday.

The group of four were arrested by the anti-terrorist squad of Gujarat, at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahamedabad.They were identified as Mohammad Nusrat (33), Mohammad Farish (35), Mohammad Nafran (27) and Mohammad Rashdeen (43).

According to the Gujarat police, interrogations revealed that the suspects were encouraged to carry out a terror attack in India.Following this development, Inspector General of Police Deshabandu Tennakoon said the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), the TID, and the intelligence authorities have launched a joint investigation into the four ISIS members from Sri Lanka.

As a part of their investigations, the TID requested information on the four suspects who are currently held under the custody of Gujarat police. Further, investigations were also launched to detect those who were close associates of these suspects.

Having interrogated the suspects, the Gujarat police said that of the four suspects, two had previously visited India on 40 and 38 occasions.

The Indian media quoted Sunil Joshi, Superintendent of Police of Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), as having said at a media briefing in Ahmedabad: “Their visits to India were also investigated. Nusrath and Nafran have been here 38 and 40 times, respectively. These people are highly radicalised. They have shown their radical mindsets earlier, too, through other organisations.”