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The five Madhya Pradesh men arrested from Ratlam for allegedly being part of Islamic State (IS) group, were reportedly guided by a former Indian Mujahiden (IM) member through cyber chat from his base near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The five men had also been tasked to carry out terrorist strikes by targetting police officers and also senior leaders of BJP and RSS, a senior official said.
As reported by The Indian Express on Wednesday, Imran Khan Muhammad Sharif, the leader of the five men held in Ratlam on April 15, is alleged to have been recruited online by an Indian jihadist he knew as “Yusouf” a code, investigators say, for Karnataka-born Muhammad Shafi Armar, a fugitive Indian Mujahideen operative now leading group of Indians fighting along the Islamic State. Officials said the recruitment was done by Armar when he was present on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and now he has shifted base to Syria.
As per details available with the security agencies, Imran Khan had travelled to Dubai on five occasions during 2003-08 and he also travelled to Saudi Arabia once last year. Khan said he had joined Ahl al-Suffah, an Islamic proselytising and charity group, in 2012 after the Muzaffarnagar riots in UP.
The entire operation was led by IB and officials said the five men were radicalised over the past one year by one Yousuf-al-Hindi, suspected to be Armar who had escaped to Karachi in 2009-10 after the IM module was first busted in 2008. Khan managed to persuade the other accused who were also members of Ahl al-Suffah to join him. They have been identified as Wasim Khan, Mohammad Rizwan, Anwar and Mazhar. The last arrest in the case was made on May 2, that of Anwar Qureshi. They said it was on instructions from Yousuf the group acquired two pistols and was also being guided on how to assemble IEDs.