Terror accused wanted an IS-like ‘caliphate’

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Terror accused wanted an IS-like ‘caliphate’

Arrested terror operative Abdul Subhan Qureshi alias Tauqeer has told his interrogators that he had left India after the Ahmedabad blasts to establish an IS-like "caliphate", which would have been headed by Mullah Omar of Taliban.

"Tauqeer said that after SIMI was banned in 2001, he and Safdar Nagori formed a new outfit and gave it the temporary name of Islamic Movement by picking I and M from SIMI. Later, these initials were used for Indian Mujahideen. This new outfit had pledged allegiance to Omar," said an investigator.

After being assigned the task of liaising between IM and Taliban, Tauqeer started on his quest using inputs provided by one Nasir who had links with Lashkar-e-Taiba. Omar was based in Af-Pak region at that time.

Nasir, who had returned after receiving terror training from camps in POK, had encouraged Nagori to take the Jihad to a bigger level and also promised to procure automatic weapons. TOI had on Tuesday reported that Nasir had given bomb-making lessons to Tauqeer.

The caliphate was supposed to comprise sleeper cells and underground members of SIMI and IM, apart from the cadres formed by Tauqeer in Bihar and Jharkhand. To train these members, camps were organised at various places and recruits shown videos of Gujarat riots to brainwash them into joining a global jihad.

After escaping to Nepal, Tauqeer met Riyaz Bhatkal who hooked him up with one Nizam Khan for logistics. Riyaz subsequently fled to Karachi. Though cops suspect that Tauqeer travelled from Nepal to Pakistan on a fake passport, they are yet to gather any evidence.

However, cops said that Tauqeer provided no evidence of his meeting with Omar, who died in a Pak hospital in April 2013. The news of his death, however, was confirmed in 2015. After getting to know of Omar's death, Tauqeer travelled to Saudi Arabia at the behest of Riyaz Bhatkal to raise funds and meet people who could help him establish the caliphate.

Police will dig deeper into Tauqeer's claims as Omar's name had also cropped up during the narco-analysis of former SIMI general secretary Safdar Nagori.