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5 alleged ISIS recruiters held in Hyderabad


Published on: September 16, 2023 | Updated on: September 16, 2023

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday conducted raids at four places in Hyderabad and 25 places in Tamil Nadu in connection with the Coimbatore car bomb blast case.  (PTI file image)

Hyderabad: National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials searched five different places in Hyderabad and reportedly detained five individuals for allegedly radicalising youth under the guise of Madarasa classes in the city. The links were uncovered by NIA officials during their investigation into the 2022 Coimbatore car bomb blast case.

The five individuals — Mohammed Hasan Azhar Siddique, Syed Murabatuddin, Khaza Tamzuddin, Mohammed Nurullah Hussain, and Syed Abdul Jabbar — are accused of radicalising youth to recruit them for the ISIS, under the pretext of Madarasa education.

At around 6 am on Saturday, NIA teams, armed with prior information about the suspects,  searched Malakpet, Humayunagar, and Tolichowki. The suspects posing as Madarasa teachers, lured youth by promising them Arabic education.

NIA officials stated, "The radicalisation was being carried out under the guise of holding Arabic language classes at their Regional Study Centres. These radicalisation activities were being disseminated online through social media platforms and messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram."

In 2022, the NIA initiated cases related to the Coimbatore car bomb blast. During the investigation, the agency reportedly discovered evidence of some suspects providing training to youth in Hyderabad. Based on that information, NIA officials raided 31 locations in Tamil Nadu and Telangana.

Residents of Saidabad reported seeing unfamiliar individuals in cabs and private vehicles loitering in their areas for extended periods. "For the past two weeks, I noticed non-local, well-dressed individuals in our locality. Initially, we assumed they were debt collectors, and we even questioned them. They mentioned they were looking for a rental property to open an office," said Mohammed Saleem, a Saidabad resident.

"Today, when a team approached Mohammed Nurul Hassan, whom we also know as Mujahid, we learned that they were police officials. We are not sure about the purpose of their visit to our area," Saleem added.

"I have known Hassan's family members for a long time but didn't dare to ask them what exactly happened. After the officials left, I tried calling Hassan's parents, but they didn't disclose anything. They simply said that the officers were very polite, issued notices, and took Hassan for questioning without specifying the reason," said Zukaika Begum, an elderly resident of Saidabad.

Reliable sources in the city's special branch revealed that the National Investigation Agency (NIA), along with the Counter Intelligence (CI) cell, raided five houses and detained five ISIS suspects for questioning. The officials confiscated Arabic literature, books, and mobile phones from the suspects. These sources also indicated that both the CI cell and NIA had received leads about these ISIS suspects from teams in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, and Jammu and Kashmir. Both intelligence agencies had been monitoring the activities of these five suspects in the twin cities for some time.

A senior police officer explained, "Unless NIA requires additional forces for groundwork or operations/raids, they do not inform us. In this case, NIA and the CI cell independently conducted their observations. In special cases related to national security, NIA or the CI cell operates independently, gathering information, technical evidence, and witnesses before conducting raids or taking suspects into custody. There is no requirement for central agencies to inform local law enforcement or zone heads."

Certain areas of Saidabad remain under surveillance, as they were previously associated with DJS, which had a strong presence, and there have been frequent martial arts events, secret meetings, and protests in a specific park in these areas, according to reliable police sources.