The fact that terrorist organisations use social media platforms to not only share their messages and claim responsibility for various attacks but also to recruit people from across countries, is well known to authorities. But with little control over widespread applications that can be used through the massive outreach that the Internet provides, there is only so much that agencies of different countries can do.
And now it has come to light that the online application, Telegraph, is allegedly used by a German woman known by her group name of Nau Lee on this app, as a medium of communication between Islamic State (IS) sympathisers from around the globe.
According to reports, Amzad Khan, a 37-year-old Indian, who is an IS suspect, was motivated by her through this application. Khan was arrested by Saudi Arabian authorities last year in September and was deported to India in April.
The National Investigation Agency is reported to be currently trying to verify the statement given by him that the 'girl from Germany' was the admin of the Telegram group that he was a part of.
And around 20 people from different countries such as Maldives, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany and India are also alleged to be members of a group named Nau Lee on the web application, according to officials as per a report in HT, a national daily.
Telegram is like other social media applications such as WhatsApp and has now emerged as a favourite online tool used by IS terrorists and sympathisers as it is an encrypted messaging service.
The report also mentions that the India investigative agency could also choose to approach law-enforcement agencies of different countries which have been mentioned in statements related to the group. The paper also quoted an official familiar with the investigation as having said that Khan's "claims have to be ascertained before our investigators can decide an action plan."
Khan is reported to have said in in his statement that he was also an active member of other social media sites such as Twitter on which he operated using a handle using an alias, Ayan Khan Salafi. And he was added to the Telegraph group after he started following a person on Twitter, allegedly from Maldives, around August or September in 2015. But he has claimed that he does not remember the name this user.
And as per reports, it was a Telegram address through which he was able to contact suspected IS operative Mohammad Masiuddin alias Musa of West Bengal, who is the lone Indian to be interrogated by US's FBI for links with IS, after he was arrested last year. The NIA had accused Masiuddin of waving IS flags in Srinagar in May last year.
Masiuddin is also alleged to have added Khan to another Telegram group filled with IS sympathisers. But according to him, he was unable to follow their communication as most of it was conducted in Bangla. Khan is also accused of being in contact with Yusuf-al-Hindi, a Syria-based ID recruiter. It has been alleged that though he wanted to go to the Syria, he was held back following his romance with a medical student from Uttar Pradesh.