Indian IS recruit claims Paris attacker was his group leader

Initial investigation reveals possible connection

Freestyle

News - India & You

October 24, 2016

/ By / Kolkata



After the Paris Attacks in 2015, netizens showed solidarity with victims and their families by using 'Pray for Paris'.

After the Paris Attacks in 2015, netizens showed solidarity with victims and their families by using ‘Pray for Paris’.

An Islamic State (IS) operative from Tamil Nadu in southern India claimed to have been trained under one of the IS masterminds of the Paris attackers.

Subhani Haja Moideen, an alleged IS operative from Tamil Nadu, while under the custody of National Investigative Agency (NIA) reportedly named one among the nine terrorists who were involved in last year’s ‘Paris attacks’ as his group’s leader during his training abroad. The ‘Paris attacks’ refer to the staged coordinated attacks on Stade de France, Bataclan theatre and restaurants and pubs in Paris on November 13, 2015. Around 130 people are said to have lost their lives in these attacks, with several more injured.

Moideen was arrested by the NIA earlier this month after they cracked down on IS operatives with the help of central security agencies and other state police forces. The NIA is said to have stopped plans of these operatives involving targeted actions against judicial officials in Kerala, members of the far-right organisation, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and foreign tourists visiting the coastal state.

Social media platforms are supposedly where Moideen was recruited and he had left India for Istanbul last year, from where he proceeded to the Iraqi territory under control of IS at the time. After undergoing rigorous religious and combat trainings, Moideen went to war for about two weeks, as has been gathered by the authorities. This is the time when the introduction and meeting of Moideen is said to have happened with the Paris attackers. He came back to India shortly after, and returned to living with his wife at his ancestral home.

Much remains to be observed

Even as authorities remain unclear as to who exactly was the alleged group leader of Moideen, they report that he has admitted to previous links with Abdelhamid Abaaoud, designated mastermind of the Paris attacks, and co-accused in the attacks Salah Abdeslam and Omar Ismail Mostefei. Moideen, despite claiming that he has known some of the Paris attackers, is reportedly denying any prior knowledge about the plans of the attacks and is said to have learned of it only after it had occurred, by when he had already returned to India.

It has been reported that the NIA has kept the French authorities in the loop about the investigation and the French embassy in New Delhi is said to be informed about the recent development. French authorities may investigate after completing requisite judicial and authorisation procedures.

The Paris attacks had sent shockwaves across the world including India, and many eminent personalities and political figures had stood up to condemn these attacks and publicly grieved the resultant loss of lives and injuries. In light of the recent information, investigation remains open to determine the extent of cooperation and coordination that the said IS recruit had extended to the Paris attackers as well as the potential connections with other IS recruits across the country.

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