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Gujarat ATS foils ‘lone wolf’ attack, arrest two on suspicion of links to Islamic State

This is first such arrest made in Gujarat.

Written by Satish Jha | New Delhi |
Updated: June 18, 2020 3:08:06 pm
One of the suspects in ATS custody. (Source: ANI) One of the suspects in ATS custody. (Source: ANI)

The Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) Sunday claimed to have foiled a lone wolf attack by two brothers who are suspected to have links to the international terror group, Islamic State (IS). According to highly placed sources the duo was planning to attack a famous temple in Surendranagar. This is the first such arrest made in the state which may point towards a possible network of IS operatives, if the links are found to be true. ATS teams picked up the two brothers, identified as Wasim Ramodia and Naem Ramodia, from Rajkot and Bhavnagar. Both are engaged in scrap business. Police claimed to have discovered bomb-making manuals in their possession. They also claimed to have recovered crude bombs, gun powder, masks, mobile phones computers as well as jihadi literature from them.

Watch Video | Gujarat ATS Arrests 2 Brothers From Bhavnagar For Allegedly Planning IS Lone Wolf Attack

Briefing the media on the arrests, Joint CP of Crime Branch, IK Bhatt confirmed that they were planning “lone wolf” attack. An officer told The Indian Express that the suspects have been under surveillance for the last two years. They were allegedly using social media and messaging apps such as Twitter, Facebook and Telegram to stay in touch with IS operatives abroad. “They are under watch for the past two years along with dozens of other such people who were openly supporting IS on social media. The intelligence agencies had also been watching these youths even since IS emerged as a major terror threats,” the officer said.  Sources said that the brothers have pursued computer science as undergraduates. Their father Arif Ramodia was associated with the Saurashtra cricket association.

So far, IS has not been able to gain a foothold in India. However, a few cases of people leaving the country to fight for IS in Syria and Iraq have been reported in the past. Also, no major attacks have taken place in India which were planned by IS members. On the other hand, in neighboring countries like Bangladesh and Pakistan, the IS terrorists have carried out major attacks killing scores of people, the most recent being the suicide bombing at Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in Sindh.

Earlier, on February 14, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had arrested a Kerala resident,  Mouinudheen Parakadavath, in a case related to alleged IS module operating in the state. Moinudheen was picked up from Indira Gandhi International Airport after he arrived here from Abu Dhabi. Last year, the ATS of Rajasthan had arrested an alleged Islamic State operative in Sikar district who was involved in collecting and transferring funds for the terror organisation from Dubai.

Meanwhile, Indian doctor K Ramamurthy who landed in India after being rescued from the clutches of IS, said that the terror outfit is keeping an eye on the development of education and economy in India and wants and wants to push their ideology in the country. Rescued from the Islamic State prison on February 14, Dr Ramamurthy told ANI that the members of the terror outfit are educated youngsters and know everything about India’s growth.

“These IS people are well-educated youngsters and they do know about India and its development and how it has developed in education, economy and everything else. They are interested in India. But, I did understand that they wanted to spread the ideology of their nation to other parts of the world, including India,” he said.

with inputs from ANI

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