Pro-Islamic State channel describes Saifullah as ‘soldier of the Caliphate’
New Delhi : Indian officials said they were verifying a message posted by a pro-Islamic State (IS) Telegram channel which identified Saifullah, who was killed in an encounter in Lucknow earlier this week, as a soldier of the Caliphate.
This is the first time that any IS-supported channel on mobile application-Telegram has owned up Saifullah, who was part of the alleged terror module, which planted a bomb on a train near Bhopal on March 7.
An official said they were suspicious about the message as it was not posted by the official channels of IS, but by a group supporting the terror organisation and was part of “casual conversation” among its sympathisers.
After initially claiming that the nine-member module belonged to IS, the Uttar Pradesh police retracted from the statement and said the group was “self radicalised” and was inspired by the IS.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh also did not mention IS in his statement to the Parliament. He however, described Saifullah, who was shot dead by Uttar Pradesh police, as a “suspected terrorist.”
U.S based intelligence website Site Intel Group posted a screen grab of the Telegram message on Twitter, which said, “Pro-#ISIS Telegram Channel Incites for Attacks in #India, Points to Suspected IS Fighter Saifullah as Example.”
The website also posted a photograph of Saifullah describing him as a “soldier of the Khilafah from India.” The photo was juxtaposed with a message in Urdu, Arabic and English. It said, “Think not of those who are killed in the way of Allah as dead, Nay, they are alive, with their Lord, and they have provision.”
A security establishment official said, ” we are verifying the message but we have seen in the past that whenever IS has claimed attack it posts pictures of its members taken much before they are killed. In this case, they have posted a photograph, which was released by the U.P police.”
U.P police said that the accused were self-proclaimed members of the IS and had even recovered a hand painted signature black flag of the IS from the rented house, on the outskirts of Lucknow, where Saifullah was killed. The low intensity bomb,which the other members planted o ln a train was made of potassium chlorate, which is commonly available in the market.
While the home minister avoided naming any outfit for the alleged terror attack on a passenger train, Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had told a news agency on Wednesday that the accused belonged to IS and had even sent the photograph of the bomb to their handler in Syria.
Eight people have been arrested so far in raids across M.P and U.P.
Source : The Hindu