Two men have been arrested from Rajkot and Bhavnagar in Gujarat for alleged links with the ISIS. This is the first time anyone having links to ISIS has been arrested in Gujarat, the investigators said. In the earlier cases, the people had been indoctrinated by ISIS videos uploaded online or the speeches of its leader founder Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and had no definite links with the jihadi group, they added. The men — Wasim Arif Ramodia and Nayim Arif Ramodia — are brothers and appear to be well educated, with one of them holding a masters’ degree in computer application.
“I have no idea about these alleged activities… I don’t know if the allegations are true or false. My images of all these years taken a beating,” said their father Arif Ramodia, who retired from the Saurashtra University three years ago.
The brothers were planning to attack a religious place, said senior police officer JK Bhatt. “We got information that in the next two days they could strike at a religious place – most likely the Chamunda temple in Saurashtra. They had carried out a reconnaissance of the area as well. The attack was code-named ‘lone wolf attack’,” said an official.
According to officials of the Anti-Terror Squad, the brothers were under surveillance for over a year now. Their radicalisation process had started two years ago and they used to chat with their handlers using secured apps.
“The two were in touch with their ISIS handlers through Facebook, Twitter and other social media handles. We have seized their computers and lots of incriminating documents,” said senior officer KK Patel. The squad also seized gunpowder and explosive making material from their residences.
“So far, 67 youths, who were influenced by the ISIS, were arrested while planning to carry out terror attacks,” Union home minister Rajnath Singh was quoted as saying by news agency Press Trust of India as saying. But the coordination between the central and state agencies has ensured that such young men have not been able to successful to carry out any terror attack in the country, he had added.