Acting on a tip off, Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers arrested Abu Musa, a member of dreaded terrorist outfit Islamic State (IS), from Burdwan railway station, who was travelling from Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu, with the intention to kill a person. The Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS), team led by Aneek Sarkar, the then DSP (at present Addl. SP, Murshidabad), arrested Musa on 4 July, 2016 when he was on his way to Labhpur in Birbhum district. Musa’s two associates- Saddam Hossain alias Kalo and Amin were subsequently arrested from Birbhum with the help of local police.
Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) of CID is entrusted with the task of detection of crime committed by terrorist and fundamentalist groups/modules. ATS in close co- ordination with other agencies like IB, NIA, SIB, STF arrests persons who indulge themselves in anti national activities and public incitements and wage war against the country.
The CID officials made the prime catch following secret information that the terrorist would reach at his home town Labhpur for killing a person. The CID officials nabbed Musa with the help of Burdwan district police and recovered a firearm with three rounds of ammunition & other weapons. A smartphone was seized from Musa which was evidence of his alleged involvement with IS as active propagandist. His mobile phone revealed numerous messaging apps like Telegram, Chatsecure, Threema, Surespot. All these were end to end encrypted apps and obtaining data from these app developers by law enforcement agencies was virtually impossible. Musa exchanged nearly 7000 messages via Telegram app where he expressed his allegiance to IS and exhorted persons to kill ‘kafirs’ with knives.
Mohammad Mosiuddin started using his pseudonym Abu Musa ever since he involved himself in carrying out his IS propagandist role through social media. He had opened his profile in a social networking site and slowly but regularly intensified his activities through the modern communication network. Musa received a communication from Yusuf-al- Hind following his comment in socials media and later he was guided by Yusuf over Skype messenger to visit websites related to jihadi activities. He managed to attract attention from different people and used to visit websites such as Jihadology.net and al-shababmedia. He developed relationship with some people through such jihadi networks. He also came in contact with the Islamic State Bangladesh and came in contact with one Abu Sulaiman online, who happened to be from his native village. They met together at a wedding function in March, 2015 and had discussions about ways to continue with the jihad. Sulaiman also tried to make a fake ration card with Musa’s help during his stay at Labhpur but failed. Sulaiman told Musa that he was a member of Jamaat-ul-Mujahiden Bangladesh (JMB). However most of the JMB cadres had switched over to IS, he being one amongst them. Both Musa and Sulaiman were in touch through Surespot. Sulaiman started motivating him to kill a foreigner; especially an American with an assurance that IS would take responsibility and provide all support to him.
Such motivation continued even when he came back to Kolkata. He did try to get some foreigners as his target and visited Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity hoping to make a good catch which however proved futile. He went back to Tiruppur in Tamil Nadu and lost direct contact with Sulaiman which was subsequently restored by a third person named Royal, who was active in the ‘publishing group’ of Telegram app. Musa left Tiruppur following a dispute with his landlord and after living in New Delhi for few days, moved to Kashmir. He visited several places in Kashmir and claimed that he was part of the IS activists, who were holding IS black flag near Jama Masjid in Srinagar.
He was leading normal life in the disguise of a grocer and simultaneously motivating persons to the violent jihad through multiple secretive groups and private channels on Telegram app. In his words Musa aspired to be a “Twitter warrior” to wage a propaganda war and social media was his battlefield.
The case was registered with Howrah GRP under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Arms Act and CID has handed over this case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) following an order directed by the Chief Judge-in-Charge, City Sessions Court, Calcutta on 24 July 2016.
Sudip Kumar Dutta, OC, ATS