Rajkot/Ahmedabad: The Gujarat ATS Sunday arrested two brothers with suspected ISIS links who had allegedly hatched plans to conduct “lone-wolf” attacks in the state.
Wasim Ramodiya and Naeem, who have MCA and BCA degrees, respectively, were allegedly in contact with ISIS handlers and were planning to target religious places in the state, police said, adding they have recovered bomb-making material from them.
Based on specific information about their alleged activities “inspired by the jihadi ideology of ISIS”, ATS officials nabbed Wasim from Rajkot and his younger brother Naeem from Bhavnagar during an early morning operation, said officials.
According to inspector general of Gujarat ATS, J.K. Bhatt, explosives as well as jihadi literature were found from these suspected ISIS operatives.
“We have been keeping a close watch on them since last three months, as they were found to be in contact with ISIS through Skype and other social media platforms like Telegram, Twitter and Whatsapp… They were attracted to ISIS two years back and were in contact with main ISIS persons as well as unknown handlers to get guidance… We nabbed them before they could execute their plan to attack some religious places in Gujarat,” Mr Bhatt said.
“They had plan to escape to Iraq or Syria after carrying out attacks here,” he added.
Investigation has revealed that the two had planned to attack the famous temple at Chotila town of Surendranagar and record and upload the video of the attack on social media. The brothers were also in touch with ISIS’ controversial preacher Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi, arrested by NIA in February 2016, the officer said.
Arif Ramodiya, the father of the suspects, is a retired employee of Saurashtra University and currently works as a cricket umpire. He claimed no knowledge of his sons’ activities.
“As of now, we have not found any involvement of other family members in this conspiracy,” said Mr Bhatt.
The brothers have been charged under IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Explosive Substances Act. They are likely to be produced in a local court of Rajkot tomorrow for transit remand.