The Karnataka government has handed over to the NIA the investigation into an alleged Islamic State-linked recruitment case, which involves the recent hunt for an alleged IS operative from Tamil Nadu and the January 8 murder of a policeman in the state.
The NIA has registered a fresh case and will formally take over the probe over the weekend. On January 10, the Central Crime Branch registered a case pertaining to the Bengaluru component of the alleged IS-linked recruitment plot involving an undertrial Khaja Moideen as well as the murder of policeman Wilson in Kanyakumari, allegedly by two associates of Moideen.
“The case has been handed over to NIA and the agency will formally take over investigations over this weekend,” a source in Karnataka police said.
The NIA will also take over investigation into Wilson’s murder, allegedly by Abdul Shameem and Toufiq, who were arrested on January 14 in Udupi, Karnataka, and a case regarding Moideen’s disappearance from Chennai in December, police sources said.
The terror recruitment case involving Moideen and several youth in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka surfaced in December 2019 after Moideen, who was being probed by the NIA in a 2017 IS recruitment case, jumped bail and disappeared from Tamil Nadu, triggering a hunt that led security agencies to Bengaluru, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Bengal, Nepal and Delhi.
Moideen, also an accused in the 2014 murder of Hindu Munnani leader K P Suresh near Chennai, was eventually nabbed by Delhi Police Special Cell around January 5, along with associates Abdul Samad, 28, and Ali Nawaz, 32, also accused in the 2014 murder case.
The investigation by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka police over the last month into activities of Moideen and others suggest that he and several others were in contact with an unidentified handler and were attempting to travel to Afghanistan to join extremist groups, sources said.
Moideen was accused by the NIA in a March 2018 chargesheet “of furthering the activities of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)/Daish” and receiving funds, organising camps, recruiting, training people and facilitating their travel to Syria. He is alleged to have established links with a foreign handler in Af-Pak region after he was released on bail in April 2019.
In the 2018 NIA chargesheet for IS recruitment, Moideen is specifically accused of assisting a TN origin youth, Haja Fakkurudeen — a Singapore citizen — in joining the IS in Syria in 2014.
According to police sources, Moideen, after his release from prison in April 2019 on bail, resumed radicalisation and recruitment activities under the pretext of carrying out social service for a group called the Al Hind Trust set up in Bengaluru by his associate Mehboob Pasha.
Moideen and Pasha allegedly used the services of a youth from Kolar in Karnataka, Mohammed Zaid, an engineer, to establish contact with an unidentified foreign handler on the dark web who went by the name Abu Bakr and Jabbar.
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