In the first Islamic State-related case to emerge from Gujarat, the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Sunday morning arrested two brothers from Saurashtra region for having alleged links with the terror group.
The security agency said it has, in the process, foiled an attack they were planning on Chotila temple in Surendranagar district.
“Wasim Ramodia was picked up from his home at Nehrunagar in Rajkot, and his brother Naem from Bhavnagar city. Both were in touch with the Islamic State network through Twitter and Facebook. They wanted to flee to Syria after carrying out the attack on Chotila temple,” said an ATS official.
Both Wasim and Naem had been on the ATS radar for nearly two years. Police said Wasim’s wife, who he married in 2015, has also come under the scanner.
The brothers were brought to the Rajkot commissioner of police’s office for preliminary interrogation, and then taken to Ahmedabad. ATS personnel recovered gunpowder, jihadi literature and masks from their possession. Their computers and cellphones have also been seized.
The police said both Wasim and Naem are well educated, holding master’s and bachelor’s degrees in computer application respectively. Their father, Aarif, serves as an umpire in domestic cricket matches.
Meanwhile, Indian doctor K Ramamurthy — who was rescued from the custody of Islamic State militants in Libya on February 14 — said that the terror outfit is “interested in India”, and wants to push its ideology here.
Dr Ramamurthy told ANI that the members of the terror outfit are an educated lot who know everything about India’s growth. “These ISIS people are well-educated youngsters, and they do know about India and its development. I did understand that they want to spread their ideology to other parts of the world, including India,” he said.
(With agency inputs)