KOCHI: Ansar-ul-Khilafah Kerala, the Islamic State (IS) module busted by NIA in Kannur in 2016, had planned poison attack on Israeli tourists at Vattakanal near Kodaikanal. The NIA elaborated the operations planned by the module during the prosecution argument as part of the trial of the case held at the NIA Court here on Tuesday.
The NIA team busted the IS module Ansar-ul-Khilafah Kerala while conducting a clandestine meeting at Kanakamala in Kannur in October 2016. Manseed Muhmood, Swalih Mohammed, Rashid Ali, Ramshad N K, Safvan and Jasim N K are currently facing trial in the case. NIA prosecutor Arjun Amabalapatta read out various chats made by the accused using Telegram app before the court. The chat messages were retrieved after seizing the mobile phones and tabs from the accused.
“The accused persons formed a chat group named Thasveeb for planning attacks on Jewish tourists who arrive at Vattakanal. The chats made in the group from August 28, 2016, to October 1, 2016, were recovered from the mobile phones of two accused persons,” the NIA prosecutor submitted before the court. Five members of Thasveeb were selected to plan and execute the attack. The directions for the group members were given by Kozhikode native Shajeer Mangalassery who went to Afghanistan to join IS in 2016. Shajeer was reportedly killed later.
According to NIA, Shajeer had directed to conduct the attack using poison spray in the second week of November 2016 when Israeli tourists reach Kodaikanal in large numbers. The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook was recovered by NIA from an accused during the investigation.
In a chat, Shajeer directed that the operation should be carried out only by a two-member group. One will drive the vehicle and another will execute the attack. ‘Tools’ for the operation will be arranged by the ‘state’ (IS). A person will train them to conduct the attack. After the attack, the IS will take responsibility by announcing it on Amaq- a news outlet linked to IS.
The members of the group were directed to conduct a recce in the second week of October. An amount of Rs 18,000 was provided by a member of the module to take a car on rent and buy required dresses on September 27 through a foreign money exchange agency. It was directed that a fake registration certificate and number plate have to be obtained for the car.
The group planned to conduct the attack at night when security will be minimal. Shajeer passed on instruction that there will be parties at Vattakanal in which most of the tourists will be high after abusing ganja. It will be easy to identify such parties as they are organised outdoors and there will be bonfires. The executor has to spray the poison at the Jews attending the party. There was also a directive to inflict maximum casualty. “Had we not intercepted the module in October 2016, the group would have conducted the attack claiming lives of several foreign tourists. Such an attack would have affected the nation badly,” the prosecutor said.