Security tightened at Somnath temple after suspected ISIS operatives held in Gujarat

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Rajkot | Published: February 27, 2017 2:37:50 AM

The security has been beefed up at Somnath temple after Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested two persons for alleged links with ISIS.

The security has been beefed up at Somnath temple after Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested two persons for alleged links with ISIS. (IE)

The security has been beefed up at Somnath temple after Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested two persons for alleged links with ISIS.  The Gujarat Police today arrested two suspected Islamic state operatives in Rajkot.   Rajkot Joint Commissioner of Police (crime branch), IK Bhatt, said the arrested suspects were siblings.

“Our ATS team has arrested two (Islamic State) suspects from Rajkot. They have been identified as Wasim Arif Ramodia and Naem Arif Ramodia. Both are brothers,” said Bhatt.   Bhatt futher said that the suspected IS operatives were about to attack a religious place.

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IS operatives who allegedly planned lone-wolf attacks held

The Gujarat ATS today arrested two brothers with suspected ISIS links who allegedly hatched plans to conduct “lone-wolf” attacks in the state.

Wasim Ramodiya and Naeem, who have MCA and BCA degrees respectively, were allegedly in contact with ISIS handlers and were planning to target religious places like Chotila, police said, adding they have recovered bomb-making material from them.

Based on a specific information about their alleged activities “inspired by the jihadi ideology of ISIS”, ATS officials nabbed Wasim from Rajkot and his younger brother Naeem from Bhavnagar during an early morning operation, said officials.

According to Inspector General of Gujarat ATS, JK Bhatt, explosives as well as jihadi literature were found from these suspected ISIS operatives during raids at their residences in Rajkot and Bhavnagar.

“We have been keeping a close watch on them since last three months, as they were found to be in contact with ISIS through Skype and other social media platforms like Telegram, Twitter and Whatsapp. We conducted raids in Rajkot and Bhavnagar and nabbed the duo,” Bhatt told reporters in Ahmedabad today. Investigation has revealed that the two had planned to attack the famous temple at Chotila town of Surendranagar district, ATS ACP B S Chavda said.

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He said that to create terror, they planned to record and upload the video of the attack on social media. They had also planned to carry out blasts at different places and also set on fire vehicles to spread terror, Chavda said.

The brothers, who had degrees in computer application, were indoctrinated in jihadi philosophy during the last two years after coming in contact with ISIS literature online, Chavda said. They were also in touch with ISIS controversial preacher Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi, arrested by NIA in February 2016, said the officer.

“They were on our radar since last three months. When we arrested them, they were in the process of making an improvised bomb to carry out lone-wolf style attacks,” he said.

Lone wolf style attacks are those wherein a person prepares and commits violent acts alone without assistance from any group. However, he or she may be influenced by the ideology of an external group, and may act in support of such a group.

Arif Ramodiya, the father of the suspects, claimed that he did not have any knowledge about the activities of his sons.

According to him, Wasim used to work at a Rajkot-based graphic designing firm after completing his MCA, while Naeem used to work with a ship recycling unit in Bhavnagar after completing his BCA.

“I came to know about the activities of my sons only after police raided my residence and arrested Wasim. I had absolutely no idea about their allegiance with ISIS. “No one from my family knew about it. This is really shameful for me. It has ruined my reputation,” said Arif, who was visibly shocked over the arrests.

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