Goa is the Is­lamic State’s top tar­get on In­dia hitlist

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - FRONT PAGE - Shishir Gupta shishir.gupta@hin­dus­tan­times.com

NEW DELHI: Goa tops the list of Is­lamic State ( IS) tar­gets in In­dia, the in­ter­ro­ga­tion of sus­pected mem­bers of the ter­ror or­gan­i­sa­tion by en­force­ment agen­cies has re­vealed. ISIS seeks to at­tack for­eign tourists and In­dian se­cu­rity forces in the state for global pub­lic­ity and to boost the morale of its South Asia ad­her­ents. In­ter­roga­tors also said that the ISIS is scout­ing for a site in In­dia to train its fight­ers.

Govern­ment sources told Hin­dus­tan Times that the so­called Amir- e- Hind of ISIS, Mud­dab­bir Mush­taq Sheikh of Mum­bra, Thane, told in­ter­roga­tors of plans to ex­plode bombs in Goa with for­eign­ers as the main tar­get. In fact, ISIS mem­bers in In­dia had planned to bomb Goa in De­cem­ber 2014 — the month when tourist in­flow from Europe, US and Rus­sia is the high­est but were in­ter­cepted by the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies.

In the past four months, In­dian agen­cies have picked up 23 ISIS sus­pects from var­i­ous states, in­clud­ing a five-mem­ber Roor­kee mod­ule that planned to bomb Harid­war. Of the 23 ar­rested, one is a re­cruiter and an­other is re­spon­si­ble for the De­cem­ber 2014 Church Street blast in Ban­ga­lore. There are no less than 30 IS In­dian re­cruits fight­ing in Syria and Iraq; un­con­firmed re­ports says six of them have been killed.

CON­TIN­UED ON P11

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