Bengaluru ophthalmologist arrested by NIA, digital devices seized


Probe agency says ‘he had visited an IS medical camp in Syria in 2014 for treatment of terrorists’

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested an ophthalmologist from Bengaluru in connection with a case related to Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISKP) on August 18.

The arrested was identified as Abdur Rahman, 28, a resident of Basavanagudi area and working as an ophthalmologist at M.S. Ramaiah Medical College, Bengaluru.

ISKP is the Islamic State’s Central Asian province that IS announced in 2015, which covers Iran, Central Asia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The group is accused of carrying out several attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan, especially targeting American and native security forces. This is the fifth arrest in the case.

Delhi Police Special Cell arrested a Kashmiri couple — Jahanzaib Sami Wani and his wife Hina Bashir Beigh — from Delhi in March 2020 who were allegedly found to have links with ISKP and another known IS operative Abdullah Basith, arrested in another IS case. The NIA that took over the probe arrested a journalism student Sadiya Anwar Sheikh, 20, and Nabeel Siddick Khatri, both residents of Pune, who were also allegedly part of the ISKP module in July 2020. The NIA had alleged they were part of the conspiracy to carry out “subversive activities in the garb of anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests”.

“During interrogation, arrested accused Abdur Rahman confessed that he was conspiring with accused Jahanzaib Sami Wani and other Syria-based IS operatives on secure messaging platforms to further IS activities,” a statement from the NIA said. The NIA also claimed that Rahman was in the process of developing a medical application for helping the injured IS cadres in the conflict-zones and a weaponry-related application for the benefit of IS fighters.

“Significantly, he had visited an IS medical camp in Syria in early 2014 for treatment of IS terrorists and stayed with Islamic State operatives for 10 days and returned to India,” the NIA said. The NIA carried out searches at three premises belonging to the arrested in the city and seized digital devices, mobile phone, laptop containing incriminating material, the statement added.

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Sagar Biswas

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