HYDERABAD: If the National Investigation Agency had not arrested Abdullah Basith, a Hyderabad youth, for his alleged links with ISIS modules in August 2018, he would have carried out a ‘lone-wolf attack’, similar to the one on CRPF convoy that a week ago at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir, according to sources.
Reportedly, after Basith informed his handler Hufaiza Bakistani of carrying out lone attacks targeting security agencies and members of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the latter assured him funds to purchase a huge vehicle to carry out the attack. The direction to administer the attack came to Basith after he refused to migrate -- or do ‘hijrat’ -- found investigators.
ISIS is known for its lone wolf attacks in the Western countries. As of yet, militant groups have used vehicles to carry out attacks 11 times in India. While Pulwama was the latest, the previous one was at Srinagar in 2009 when a police vehicle was blown up using a car bomb.
In November 2017, Basith came into contact with Hufaiza Bakistani through US-based teenager Matin Azizi Yarand, who was arrested by the FBI in May 2018. Reportedly, when Hufaiza asked Basith what he could do for Islam, Basith responded that he could not migrate to Syria as he had been arrested twice in 2014 and 2015 while attempting to do so.
Basith’s handler later advised him to get weapons. Basith assured him that he would build contacts and procure weapons from Delhi, Punjab, and Bihar. Hufaiza also advised Basith to either carry out the lone wolf attack or stab people using knives. The latter was reportedly willing to target government employees, security forces, agencies, and RSS members. Hufaiza also instructed Basith to arrange money to fund ISIS cadre in India.
Later, in July 2018, Hufaiza directed Basith to a person with the Telegram ID ‘C’ and asked him to pay Rs 50,000 for procuring a weapon. However, the weapon did not reach Basith, as three boys from Delhi who were entrusted to collect the weapon from ‘C’ and hand the same over to Basith were nabbed by Special Cell of Delhi police.
The Delhi boys were also asked to administer a deal of purchasing two AK47s worth Rs 4 lakh and send them to ISJK (Islamic State of Jammu & Kashmir) in Kashmir. After their detention, Basith was worried about his impending arrest and asked Hufaiza to redirect him to members of the group in Kashmir so that he could join ISJK. However, Hufaiza rejected the idea and directed Basith to travel to Delhi instead. He was arrested soon afterwards.
ISIS directs to use Theema App
After increased surveillance, ISIS handlers and online recruiters operating from across the globe have continuously kept changing their communication channels. Initially they communicated through whatsapp and Telegram, but recently they have directed their followers to use Threema mobile app