ALLEGED Islamic State (IS) handler Farooque alias Shafi Armar reportedly used the promise of sex slaves upon arrival in Iraq and virgins after martyrdom as bait to lure Parbhani youth Nasir Chaus into the IS fold. Chaus then formed a module comprising three more locals who were assigned the task of eliminating a former SP of the Maharashtra ATS. This and other details allegedly revealed by Chaus will be part of the chargesheet the Maharashtra ATS will file in the Parbhani case within a fortnight, said senior ATS officials.
“Chaus, who is one of the key members of the Parbhani IS module, was befriended by Farqooue through social networking websites.
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Later, Farooque instructed Chaus to chat with him through various messenger apps like telegram, snapchat etc. It was during the course of these conversations Chaus was lured with the idea of having women slaves at his disposal and getting virgins after martyrdom. As a part of the tactic, he was also crowned as the ‘Amir (chief) of Parbhani’ by Farooque. Chaus fell for the trap and managed to get three more local youths to form the module. After the module was formed, Chaus was keen on travelling to Iraq but Farqooue persuaded him to carry out an attack in India and manage India’s operations before he made arrangements for him abroad,” said a senior official.
Sources said the ATS is keen to file the chargesheet in the case expeditiously because the case was abruptly transferred to the NIA, a development that has left the state counter-terrorism agency unhappy.
“While NIA is mandated to probe cases registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), this case was a handiwork of the Maharashtra ATS and they should be allowed to take the case to its logical conclusion. The decision that the Maharashtra ATS should file the chargesheet has been taken at the highest level,” said a senior official from the state Home department who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
However, sources in the NIA contend that the reason to transfer the case from the Maharashtra ATS is the “common handler”. “Farooque alias Shafi Armar is an erstwhile member of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) who defected along with his brother Sultan to form Ansar ul Tawhid (AuT) that has pledged its allegiance to the IS. We have been probing a pan-India module that was busted in January this year, whose handler is also Farooque. We want to probe if the two cases are connected and, therefore, have taken the case,” said an NIA official.
Between July and August this year, the Maharashtra ATS busted a Parbhani-based IS module and arrested four youths from Prabhani and Hingoli — Mohd Raisuddin Mohd Siddique, Iqbal Ahmed Kabir Ahmed, Nasir Chaus and Shaheed Khan. The agency claims the module was planning to carry out an attack on the Aurangabad ATS unit. The group was allegedly planning to target former SP Navinchandra Reddy.
Meanwhile, the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) report has confirmed that the low-intensity IED recovered from the ancestral home of Khan was prepared using a potent mix of matchstick powder, sulfur, charcoal, urea and potassium nitrate (saltpetre) with shrapnel embedded in it “to cause extra damage”.