NIA arrests JKH chief: Terror group recruited youth for Islamic State, considered extorting money from Bollywood stars

On Monday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested the president of the Junood-ul-Khalifa-Fil-Hind (JKH), a terror group that has pledged loyalty to the Islamic State and which is responsible for sending recruits from India to Syria, reports said.

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

Islamic State chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Reuters

Mumbai Mirror reported that the accused, Amjad Khan, 37, who was recently deported from Saudi Arabia, allegedly founded the JKH and was known online as Ayan Salafi Khan.

The NIA had been investigating the JKH in connection with the 2014 Bengaluru blast, which took place near a church, killing one person and injuring three others.

The blast was reportedly the first attack carried out by the Islamic State on Indian soil. Khan had been listed as an absconder in the case, Mumbai Mirror reported.

Muddabir Shaikh and Rizwan, two others who had been arrested by the NIA early last year, were allegedly carrying out terrorist activities in Mumbai on Khan's orders.

According to a report in The Economic Times, the JKH adopted corporate-style designations and structure, a first for any terror group operating in India. The terror group had designations such as  Nayed Ameer (deputy), Amir-e-Maliyat (finance), Amir Askray (operations), Amir-e-Raabta (communications in-charge) and Amir-e-Shariyo Dawati (recruitment).

The terror group had planned to set up branches in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Allahabad, the Economic Times reported.

According to an Indian Express report, in 2016, the NIA arrested 16 youths from Hyderabad, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Lucknow and other places for trying to create the JKH. Most of these youth had sworn fealty to Islamic State chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi on the directions of a handler, Yusuf al Hindi alias Shafi Armar, an Indian suspected to be in Syria and the purported media chief of the Islamic State.

Deccan Chronicle reported that the JKH considered extorting Bollywood stars for money as a means to fund its terror activities. In 2016, two alleged top commanders of the JKH, Rizwan Nawazuddin alias Khalid and Muddabir Sheikh, revealed this to the NIA during interrogation. However, the plan was thwarted after the NIA, which had been surveilling the JKH's online activities, carried out mass arrests.


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Updated Date: Apr 10, 2017 20:43:00 IST

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