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Highly radicalised: How this ISIS recruit from Hyderabad hoodwinked everyone

By Vicky Nanjappa
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    Hyderabad, Aug 13: On Sunday, the National Investigation Agency arrested Mohammad Abdullah Basit, 24 after it was found that he was highly radicalised and was planning on carrying out Islamic State related activities in India.

    Ironically, this is not for the first time that Basit has had a run-in with the law. He has been counselled several times in the past by elders, his parents and the police. The law enforcement agencies while dealing with such cases, always first look to counsel the person in question so that he is able to be part of the mainstream. This would however depend on the level of radicalisation the person in question has undergone.

    Highly radicalised: How this ISIS recruit from Hyderabad hoodwinked everyone

    Basit's first attempt to join the ISIS was in 2014. That year based on a tip of, the Telangana police managed to bring him back along with several others from Malda in West Bengal. He was attempting to cross over into Bangladesh and join the ISIS in Afghanistan.

    After being brought down, he was counselled during which he assured that he would mend his ways. However exactly a year later, he made another attempt to leave the country, this time for Syria. The police however arrested him in Nagpur and brought him back to Hyderabad.

    Also Read | The radicalisation of South India: Why this part of the country is a ticking terror time bomb

    Hoodwinking the counsellor:

    He underwent several rounds of counselling after his arrest. All through he had assured both the police and his parents that he would change. However investigators now say that he was pretending all the while. In fact what he was doing was hoodwinking the police so that he would not be arrested.

    NIA officials say that the fact of the matter is that he never had any intention of reforming. Even when he was out on bail, he kept in touch with several operatives of the ISIS. It was during this period that he decided that it would be better stay within the country and wage jihad within. He realised that he would not be able to go out especially after two failed attempts, considering that the radar on him was very high.

    Also Read | Two from Hyderabad arrested in Islamic State related case

    Early beginnings:

    For Basit the entire radicalisation process began when he was around 16 years old. He would watch speeches by Osama Bin Laden. He says during his questioning, that he as highly inspired by such persons.

    In Hyderabad, he would be part of a very close knit circle which also included some of his relatives. They were even booked in 2015 on charges of attempting to wage a war against the nation among other sections.

    Also Read | Why ISIS terrorists are swarming like bees in Hyderabad

    Officials tell OneIndia that his arrest became necessary since he had reached a point of no return. In fact after the counselling, he had become every more determined. He had in fact decided that he would make all attempts to join the ISIS. Sources also add that after the two failed attempts to leave the country, his handlers may have advised him to carry out terrorist activities in India itself.

    Also Read | Chakravyuh: These ISIS recruits didn't know who they were speaking to

    The NIA's case:

    The case on hand dates back to an NIA probe that was launched in 2016. 3 accused persons and their other unknown associates were members of ISIS and were involved in a conspiracy to identify, motivate, radicalise, recruit and train Indian Muslim youth on behalf of the proscribed outfit ISIS to carry out terror activities. All the three accused were subsequently arrested by NIA.

    The NIA filed a chargesheet and subsequently two persons Sheikh Azhar and Mohamamd Farhan were sentenced to 7 years in jail. The trial against the third person, Adnan Hassan is still on.

    Also Read | A Caliphate in Hyderabad: NIA probe on ISIS module reveals

    The NIA says, during further investigation, a fresh input was received from reliable sources that one Abdullah Basith resident of Hyderabad, who was connected with accused Adnan Hassan and some of his associates are in regular touch with each other and conspiring to further the activities of ISIS, a proscribed terrorist organisation in India.

    The initial questioning/interviewing done so far has brought out the involvement of accused Abdullah Basith, Mohd Abdul Qhadeer and other associates pledging their allegiance to the proscribed terrorist organization ISIS to carry out terror activities in India.

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