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ISIS had planned attacks on Jews in Ahmedabad and Mumbai : ATS Gujarat charge sheet

The Gujrat Anti-Terrorism-Squad had filed a charge sheet yesterday in Ankleshwar, Gujrat against two alleged operatives of ISIS who were arrested last year. The 1500 page charge sheet filed in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate RD Mehta states that arrested operatives were working for ISIS and were planning attacks on Mumbai and Ahmedabad.

According to reports, the accused, Mohammad Kasim Stimberwala and Ubed Ahmed Mirza were arrested on charges of planning lone wolf attack on a Jewish Synagogue in Ahmedabad. But the charge sheet alleges that they had also planned to attack Jewish areas in Mumbai as Mumbai has a larger Jewish population.

The reports state that Stimberwala worked as a laboratory technician at a hospital in Ankleshwar while Ubed Ahmed Mirza was a practising lawyer at Surat District court. The charge sheet claimed that both were highly radicalised by the Jihadi ideology of the Islamic State and were actively planning lone wolf attacks on Jews. Both of them were in contact with a radical Jamaican preacher named Abdullah el-Faisal and a suspected ISIS handler named Shafi Armar. Armar and el-Faisal both had been termed as ‘absconding’ in the charge sheet.

The arrest of Kasim Stimberwala had caused a political storm in October last year because he was employed by the Sardar Patel Hospital in Ankleshwar and Congress leader and Sonia Gandhi’s close aide Ahmed Patel was a trustee in the Hospital.

Both the accused reportedly conducted a recce of the Synagogue in Khadia and were also trying to recruit more radicalised youth to send outside India to carry out terrorist attacks. The also reportedly tried to purchase weapons from Delhi and Lucknow but could not succeed. According to the charge sheet, their target was the Nariman Point area to maximise the number of Jewish casualties.

Stimberwala and Mirza both have been charged with IPC sections 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 121-A (sedition) and 125 (waging war against any Asiatic power in alliance with India). They were also charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

The FIR which was lodged against them in October 2017, reportedly stated that both accused were under the influence of the Jamaican El-Faisal. The Jamaican radical preacher was convicted in the UK for spreading hatred and was deported to Jamaica by the UK officials. The FIR also stated that El-Faisal was later arrested in Jamaica on charges of trying to send radicalised youth to Syria.

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