India is successfully foiling terrorist and anti-India activities one after the other. This time it was an India-centric online propaganda magazine, ‘Voice of Hind’ published every month to radicalize impressionable youth. This is after the Anti Terrorism Squad arrested two Al Qaeda members in Uttar Pradesh and the NIA arrested nine Al Qaeda terrorists from Kerala and West Bengal.
Joint Intelligence Operation in J&K
On the intervening night of 10th and 11th July, at around 2 am, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in collaboration with the Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) raided 10 different locations in Anantnag, Srinagar, Awantipora and Baramulla and busted a major Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) module.
The simultaneous raids were possible with the cooperation and support from the Jammu and Kashmir Police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Nine suspects have been taken into custody and are being questioned while five are under NIA’s custody.
The suspects had been under surveillance for the past three months and the NIA had registered a case on 29 June 2021 under sections 124A, 153A, and 153B of the Indian Penal Code and sections 17, 18, 18B, 38, 39 and 40 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967.
‘The Voice of Hind’ propaganda magazine
Among the five under NIA’s custody, three ISIS terrorists were arrested in connection with ‘the Voice of Hind’ magazine. The accused in the case are Umar Nisar Bhat- a resident of Magray Mohalla, Achabal situated in the Anantnag District, Tanveer Ahmad Bhat- a resident of Gori Mohalla Achabal Anantnag and Rameez Ahmad Lone- resident of Chak Achabal, Anantnag.
They had connections to ISIS and have been conspiring to “radicalise and recruit impressionable youth in India to wage violent jihad against the Indian State.”
“ISIS terrorists operating from various conflict zones along with ISIS cadres in India, by assuming pseudo-online identities, have created a network wherein ISIS-related propaganda material is disseminated for radicalizing and recruiting members to the fold of ISIS. In this connection an India-centric online propaganda magazine ‘the Voice of Hind’ is published on a monthly basis to incite and radicalize impressionable youth,” said the NIA in a statement.
On searching the premises of the arrested accused, a large number of incriminating documents, multiple digital devices, and T-shirts with ISIS logo were recovered by the NIA.
Preliminary examination of the seized material and examination of the accused persons revealed that they are active cadres of ISIS and have been using cyberspace to propagate inciting material by the radical online magazine.
“Examination of the arrested accused led to searches earlier today at two more locations in the Anantnag district in which several digital devices and other materials have been seized. Investigation in the case continues,” read the NIA statement.
As many as 17 editions of the Voice of Hind have been published in the public domain. Several of them are from Anantnag’s Achabal. According to an intelligence source, Umar (who is now under NIA custody) was the face of the online editions of ‘Voice of Hind’ which was aimed at inciting Indian Muslims against the system.
Major terrorist modules busted earlier
On Sunday, 11th July, the Anti-Terrorism Squad, Uttar Pradesh busted an Al Qaeda module and arrested 2 terrorists who were planning on using improvised explosive devices to execute terror explosions in crowded areas of Lucknow, ahead of 15th August. The terrorists were being instructed via the Telegram app by Umar Halmandi, a listed Al Qaeda operative based around the Pak-Afghan border.
On September 2020, the NIA had arrested nine Al-Qaeda terrorists from Murshidabad in West Bengal and Ernakulam in Kerala. The agency said that these terrorists were planning lone-wolf attacks in several places in the country, including the National Capital Region. Weapons and bomb-making material were seized from the arrested men.
The NIA said that their targets included Kochi naval base and shipyard.
Terrorist organisations radicalizing people on social media
The investigators of all these cases had said that these men were radicalised by Al-Qaeda terrorists on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple locations in India.
Question of increasing terrorist networks
These arrests ensure the curbing of these specific terror plans, but also raise the question of ‘Is there a sudden increase of terrorist networks in India?’
The Indian forces and the Intelligence agencies monitor any such activities taking place in the entire nation and cannot afford to let even one terrorist plan slip towards success.
Quoting Shreekant Tiwari’s boss Kulkarni from the Indian web series ‘Family Man’, “Unhe Sirf Ek Baar jeetna Hota hai… aur hame har baar” meaning, ‘They (terrorists) just need to win one time, while we need to win every single time’.