The National Investigation Agency has busted an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria-linked terror module with the arrest of three people in Madhya Pradesh, an official said on Saturday.
The arrests were made during overnight raids at 13 locations in Jabalpur in an intelligence-led joint operation with the Anti-Terror Squad of Madhya Pradesh police, a spokesperson of the federal agency said.
The official identified the arrested trio as Syed Mamoor Ali, Mohammad Adil Khan and Mohammad Shahid and said they will be produced before the NIA special court in Bhopal.
A host of sharp-edged weapons, ammunition (including prohibited bore), incriminating documents and digital devices were also seized during the searches, the spokesperson said.
The NIA had, on May 24, registered a case, during its investigations into the pro-ISIS activities of Khan, who came to the agency's notice in August last year.
"The NIA learnt that he and his associates were involved in disseminating ISIS propaganda through social media platforms, as well as through on-ground 'Dawah' programmes, in order to unleash violent terror attacks in India at the instance of ISIS. The module had been conducting meetings in local masjids and houses and hatching plans and conspiracies to spread terror in the country," the spokesperson said.
The official said the investigations revealed that the three accused were highly radicalised and were determined to carry out violent "jihad".
"They were engaged in collecting funds, disseminating ISIS propaganda material, motivating and recruiting youth, and trying to procure arms and ammunition with the objective of carrying out terrorist acts," the spokesperson said.
The official said Ali had created a local group by the name of 'Fisabilillah' and was also operating a WhatsApp group by the same name. "Along with his associates, he was trying to procure pistols and was in contact with a Jabalpur-based illegal arms supplier for this purpose."
A staunch ISIS follower and supporter, the NIA said Khan had managed to assemble an active group of Jabalpur-based like-minded radicalised individuals.
"Some of the module members were already contemplating Hijrat (flight) to conflict theatres, while others had plans to form a local outfit for carrying out violent jihad in India," the spokesperson said.
The official said Khan was also running multiple YouTube, Instagram and WhatsApp channels for motivating and recruiting youth into the ISIS fold.
"Investigations further showed that Shahid had also planned to procure weapons including pistols, improvised explosive devices and even grenades for violent attacks in India," the spokesperson said.