The National Investigation Agency (NIA) took an Abu Dhabi national into custody in Hyderabad on Saturday in connection with the probe into the 2016 Islamic State (IS) module case. This comes two months after the agency filed a supplementary chargesheet against two Hyderabadi residents, Abdullah Basith and Abdul Qhadeer, in a special court in New Delhi.
Agency sources told Republic TV that one Taha, hailing from Abu Dhabi, was living in Hyderabad for the past six months along with his wife. Taha was named by Basith as one of his associates during interrogation. The raids were carried out at three places in Hyderabad and one place in Wardha, Maharashtra on Saturday.
An NIA investigation revealed that Basith, one of the ISIS handlers stung by Republic TV in May of 2017, was planning to carry out a lone wolf attack on RSS leaders and security forces in New Delhi. He was arrested in August, 2018, almost 10 days before he had planned to carry out the attack.
As per the supplementary chargesheet filed by the NIA, Abdullah Basith had planned to carry out an attack in tandem with a Pakistani handler named Huzaifa who lives in Afghanistan.
His attack was planned for New Delhi and the targets, as per the NIA, were RSS leaders and security forces.
Logistics and execution planning appeared to have been afoot, given that chemicals like Chloroform (CHCl3), Potassium Chlorate (KClO3 - an oxidizer) and Potassium Nitrate (KNO3 - a key component in explosives) were recovered from the houses of both Basith and Mohammad Abdul Qhadeer - the other arrested ISIS suspect.
The chargesheet, which makes multiple mentions of Republic TV's sting, also throws into sharp relief on how close the arrests came to the prospective date of the attack. On July 28, 2018, Basith travelled to New Delhi and met two Kashmiris who were allegedly set to deliver him weapons to carry out the attack on RSS leaders. Basith was to procure a vehicle for this purpose. However, both the J&K ISIS members - Jamshed Zahoor Paul and Parvez Rashid - were caught by the Delhi Special cell, while Basith was arrested in Hyderabad days later.
In Republic TV's May 2017 sting, Basith and two other operatives from the suspected ISIS module, had admitted to their recruitment endeavours. Basith had also made inarguably dangerous statements rejecting democracy and seeking the Islamic State.
He had admitted of being in contact with separatist elements in Kashmir and stated a desire to go to Syria - then ISIS's stronghold - and in case this was not possible, perpetrate attacks on Indian soil.
At that time, Republic TV's sting and the resulting questioning of Basith was questioned by sections of the media and political circles, with recent developments bringing out the truth in this regard.