Russia detains IS man planning strike on Indian politician; bomber says he was to get help in India

NEW DELHI: The Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia has detained an Islamic State

bomber

who, it said, was planning to travel to India to carry out a suicide attack on a governing party “representative” for “insult to the Prophet Muhammad”.

In a video confession shared here by the Russian authorities, the alleged terrorist, Mashrabkhon

Azamov

, who is an Uzbek national, said he arrived in Russia after training in Turkey and was supposed to soon meet people in India for carrying out a suicide attack at the behest of the terrorist group.

There was no immediate reaction from the MEA although official sources here said they were closely following the case.

Bomber says he was to get help in India

FSB was recruited as a suicide bomber in Turkey, Russia’s top counter-intelligence agency said in a statement, according to a report in Sputnik. “In Turkey, the would-be terrorist was conditioned both online on Telegram and during in-person meetings in Istanbul over several months from April to June, the FSB said in a statement,” said the report.

“I, Azamov, born in 1992, in April 2022 made a vow to the Emir of the ISIS named Yusuf Tajiki. In 2022, I underwent special training in Turkey. In 2022, by the command of Yusuf Tajiki. I arrived in Russia from where I was supposed to leave for India. In India, I was supposed to be met and given everything necessary to commit a terrorist attack by the command of ISIS for insulting the Prophet Muhammad,” said Azamov, as per the English translation of his confession.

It is not clear at this point if Tajiki is the same Tajik-speaking IS operative who was reported to have been killed by the Taliban in July this year in a factional fight among the jihadi groups.

“The FSB in Russia identified and detained a member of the international terrorist organisation Islamic State banned in the country, a native of a country in the Central Asian region, who planned to commit a terrorist act by self-detonation against one of the representatives of the ruling circles of India,” it said in a release.

The arrest comes barely three months after the Islamic State in Khorasan Province released a 50-page document on the same issue.

The 10-minute video titled “The polytheists are the brothers of the polytheists” featuring Sharma was released in June and also mentioned the demolition drive in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, where a part of a mosque had been demolished by the civic authorities.

The development should lead the agencies to further heighten the security of

Nupur Sharma

even as they try to figure out who exactly the Uzbek IS terrorist had planned to target. A special team of intelligence officials from India are likely to interrogate him at the earliest. Agencies have already launched an investigation to find out who was the “India contact” of this terrorist who was to supply him with explosives as claimed by him during interrogation, said sources.

The Indian intelligence sleuths see the development as a desperate attempt by the IS to counter the efforts of al-Qaida’s effort to enhance its appeal in India by wading into issues such as the hijab controversy. Qaida’s slain leader, Ayman Al Zawahiri, who was recently killed in Afghanistan, had released videos denouncing Nupur Sharma. He even remarked on the hijab row and praised the girl who took on a group of boys.

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