KOLKATA: The National Investigative Agency (NIA) is attempting to extradite a top leader of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)--dubbed as the chief of four eastern Indian states, including West Bengal, who was nabbed by Bangladesh police recently.
Sources revealed that Sheikh Obaidullah, a native of Uluberia in Howrah district, was tasked with recruiting more youths from the poorer eastern Indian states into the radical Islamist outfit for operations in the subcontinent.
Obaidullah’s arrest is being considered a breakthrough at a time when an alleged operative of ISIS’ Khurasan module was killed in an encounter with security forces in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh on the wee hours of Wednesday. The NIA has taken up Obaidullah's extradite-on with the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit of the Bangladesh Police that nabbed him. Also, vigil has been stepped up in the bordering districts of West Bengal to nab the associates of Obaidullah.
Sources revealed that the 45-year-old terror operative began his career as a Jihadi by joining the Lashkar-e-Toiba in the early 90s after which he underwent training in handling weapons in Afghanistan for two years (1991-93). According to sources, Obaidullah alias Taufique alias Emadullah crossed over to Bangladesh through India in 2004 on orders of a top LeT operative based in Pakistan.
The terror operative is said to have crossed over the porous Indo-Bangla international border several times and held meetings with terror operatives in West Bengal.
Two agents engaged in facilitating entry of people illegally to and from Bangladesh-- Debashish Roy and Tarak Mazumdar—had allegedly helped Obaidullah get across to the eastern neighbour. Sources revealed that the nabbed terror operative taught in a Madrassah in Bangladesh and was instrumental in planting several LeT sleeper cells in West Bengal. "During his work as a teacher in a Bangladeshi Madrassah, he met another ISIS operative from West Bengal, Md Masiruddin alias Musa from Birbhum district.
After that, he also started working for ISIS," a source said. Extradition of the top ISIS operative is expected to also reveal locations where the terrorist organisation had planned attacks in India.
On the other hand, a top Jamatul Mujahiddeen Bangladesh (JMB) leader involved in July 1, 2016 Holey Artisan Bakery attack in Dhaka was reportedly nabbed from Burra Bazaar area of Kolkata recently. Md Idris, the most wanted terror operative of the attack was reportedly shuttling between Kolkata and Hyderabad to recruit youths for the cause of Rohingya Muslims persecuted in Myanmar.
The operation to nab the JMB operative was reportedly jointly conducted by the Delhi Police and the Kolkata Police. Idris has been handed over to the Delhi police. He may be interrogated by Bangladesh Police as well.