NIA claims arrested software programmer was part of ISIS sleeper cell

Maharashtra ATS and the National Investigation Agency (NIA) say that the 33-year-old software programmer would often tell his family that he would be “soon heading to Syria”. It appears that the family of Muddabir Mushtaq Shaikh was aware of his involvement with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

According to ATS officer, “We had information about his links with IS and began monitoring his phone, email and social media chats. His primary job was to identify youths who could be instigated to join IS.”Shaikh had done BCom and a diploma in computers.

They also took his computer and his mobile phone. Two electronic timer devices and Rs 2 lakh were found in the house and seized.

Shaikh, who had recently acquired a passport, was hoping to leave the country. His wife Uzma and father-in-law Ahmed Miya Parve only knew about his wish to apply for a job abroad but he had failed several times in getting one.

However on Khan’s confession in the court, his wife said enforcement agencies might have put pressure on him to make such a statement. The court granted three days’ transit remand for Khan to be produced before Patiala Court in New Delhi

Senior officer privy to the investigation said,”We are interrogating all the arrested members and he (Shaikh) is claiming to be a sleeper cell who was awaiting orders from his handlers. He was also radicalising youths online, but we suspect that there is more to it. He can spill more beans and take us to the right person working for IS in India.”