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In touch with IS leaders in Afghanistan & Syria, Damudi was instigating contacts in India to kill ‘kufars’

The NIA had arrested Damudi from Karnataka’s Bhatkal on August 6 in connection with the case after the agency carried out searches at several locations.

IANS | New Delhi |

Jufri Jawhar Damudi aka Abu Hajir Al Badri, who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency(NIA) in connection with the ISIS ‘Voice of Hind’ module case was high up in the hierarchy of the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) and was in direct touch with its leaders in Afghanistan and Syria. He was instigating his cyber contacts to kill ‘kufars’ (disbelievers) in India.

The NIA had arrested Damudi from Karnataka’s Bhatkal on August 6 in connection with the case after the agency carried out searches at several locations.

An NIA official related to the probe told IANS, “Damudi was in the notice of the central investigative agencies since April 2020 for his active role in production and dissemination of IS propaganda monthly online magazine ‘Voice of Hind’.”

The official said that besides ISIS propaganda or media activity, Damudi was also looking after the logistical support, including procurement of arms and explosives, funding for mujahideen’s and recruitment.

“He was in direct contact with the IS leaders in Afghanistan’s Khorasan and Syria,” the official said.

The official said that Damudi also instigated his cyber contacts to kill ‘kufars’, police personnel, journalists, etc. and inflect damage to temples and government properties.

The official said Damudi, who was high up in the hierarchy of ISKP and a key ISIS operative on cyberspace claimed to be based in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

The official said that he was taking all security precautions to evade his detection by the intelligence agencies in India.

“Despite his claim to be based in Khorasan in Afghanistan or Pakistan on social media, it was assessed that Damudi aka Badri might be based in India and not Khorasan,” the official said.

The official said that based on this assessment and the leads developed through the revelations of Qasim Khurasani aka Umar Nisar, who was arrested on July 11 this year, further intelligence investigation by the NIA in coordination with foreign agencies, the real identity of Badri was established as Bhatkal-based operative.

Thereafter, through deft fieldwork, the agencies managed to identify Damudi and it was also established that he is the younger brother of Adnan Hassan Damudi, who was arrested by NIA in 2017 in ISIS-related cases, officials said.

The official said that Damudi also accepted his association with Afghanistan-Pakistan-based IS operatives and involvement in the production and dissemination of IS propaganda magazine ‘Voice of Hind’.

An NIA source related to the IS-related cases in India said, “Along with the Intelligence Bureau (IB), the agency has been working to identify over 5,000 members of the IS who are active on social media platforms.”

The source said that the agency has started taking action after year-long research and investigation against the IS operatives, who are working against India.

The source said that the NIA has identified the ‘Chronicle Foundation’ page being run on several social media platforms, which is being used as a school for the new IS recruits.

The source said that while investigating the page on social media, it has been found that most of the members there have created their IDs with fake names.

The source said that while going through the page of the Chronicle Foundation, the speeches of their leaders indicate the targeted killings of the Hindu leaders across the country.

The source further said that the agency is currently questioning several IS operatives who have been arrested by the anti-terror probe agency in recent days to get hold of the IS operatives planning an attack on security establishments in Jammu and Kashmir and to stop the targeted killings by them.

In the last one month, the NIA has carried out searches at 21 locations spread across Anantnag, Srinagar, Bandipore, Baramulla districts of Jammu and Kashmir and Mangalore, Bengaluru and Bhatkal districts in Karnataka which resulted in the arrest of 10 operatives in three separate modules of ISIS in India.

The official said that the pan-India crackdown and back to back arrests of two prominent Islamic State (ISIS) operatives — Khurasani and Damudi — is a major blow to IS in India.