In a monumental success for the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), two ISIS operatives have been apprehended and arrested. The two accused have been identified as Mohammad Kasim Stimberwala and Ubed Ahmed Mirza. The Gujarat ATS has filed a charge sheet before the Court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, R.D. Mehta in Ankleshwar. The Gujarat ATS has added that the two were planning a lone wolf attack on a Jewish synagogue in the Khadia area of Ahmedabad.
The charge sheet further revealed that the accused duo also wanted to carry out a series of attacks in Mumbai since more Jews reside in Mumbai as compared to Ahmedabad. In fact, the terrorists had planned to attack the Nariman Point area (the same place which was attacked in 2008 and Jews were tortured in an inhumane manner before being killed by the terrorists). The accused had planned to attack the area because of the high density of Jews living in the area. It seems that the accused were highly indoctrinated anti-semitic jihadists. However, an active Gujarat ATS acted promptly and arrested the duo, hence foiling their nefarious designs.
Contrary to the false belief that educated people do not fall for radicalism, the two accused are well-educated Muslims. While Mohammad Kasim Stimberwala works as a laboratory technician at a hospital. Similarly, Ubed Ahmed Mirza is a lawyer by profession practising at the Surat District Court. It seems that even educated people are not sufficiently guarded against the ills of radicalism. In fact, the charge sheet also corroborates that the accused were highly radicalised by the jihadi ideology of the Islamic State. The duo were in touch with Abdullah el-Faisal, a radical preacher based in Jamaica after he was convicted in the UK for spreading religious hatred, and Shafi Armar, a Karnataka-born global ISIS terrorist who is regarded to be the primary recruiter for the Islamic State. According to the charge sheet submitted by the Gujarat ATS the accused even conducted a survey of some of the places targeted by the terrorists.
Furthermore, the Gujarat ATS has also added that the accused were planning to send radicalised Indian youths aborad to take part in terrorist activities. With the objective of giving effect to their obnoxious plans, they even attempted to procure weapons from their contacts in the cities of Lucknow and Delhi. However, they failed in procuring the weapons and were caught by the ATS. The accused have been charged under section 120-B (conspiracy), section 121-A (sedition) and section 125 (waging war against any other Asiatic nation in alliance with India) of the Indian Penal Code. The accused have also been charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.
It is commendable how the ruling Modi-led government and anti-terrorism authorities have been immensely successful in foiling terror bids one after another. The government has not only been able to successfully restrict the growth of Maoism and separatist militancy but has also ensured tranquility across major cities. Unlike the UPA which appeared totally incompetent in face of frequent terror attacks in virtually every major city in India, current NDA dispensation has shown zero tolerance for terror and no terror attacks have taken place except in the disturbed or bordering areas.
There has been a massive improvement in the internal security situation and that too in the face of an ever-increasing threat posed by the emergence of the ISIS as a global terrorist outfit which has affected even those nations which were at one point seen to be out of the ambit of Islamic terrorism. This government has shown great urgency and has prioritised anti-terror operations, whether in disturbed areas or ordinary areas, in a manner which was not seen with any other government in the past. India has not been free from ISIS radicalism; however, the authorities have regularly apprehended such radicals and have foiled all terror bids.
In the run up to 2014 general elections, Prime Minister Modi repeatedly talked about the breakdown of security apparatus in India. He repeatedly accused Congress of acting ‘soft’ against terror. Now we know he meant business.
It is a matter of great fortune that those who were casual about tackling Islamic terrorism and those who believed that ‘In a big city like Mumbai, the odd tragedy keeps happening’ when questioned about Mumbai terror attacks are no longer in power. At the same time, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi had at the peak of terror attacks in India commented that it was difficult to stop every terror incident. In fact, clamping down on real terrorism was never a priority for the UPA government. They had become accustomed to washing off their hands after every terror attack. While radicalised terrorists were wrecking havoc, the current opposition was busy devising the theory of saffron terrorism and arresting innocent Hindus on the allegations of conducting terror attacks. Had they been in power in today’s globally susceptible atmosphere, India’s internal security, especially vis-a-vis Islamic extremism would have been seriously imperiled.