The Research and Analysis Wing has unveiled a Malaysia-based terror plot.
The agency has intercepted crucial financial transactions with links to Islamist televangelist Zakir Naik and Malaysia-based Rohingya terror group, likely to orchestrate a terror attack in India.
The thread of suspicious transactions sum up to $2 lakh and has been traced to Naik and Rohingya leader Mohammed Naseer. The intel documents also state a Chennai-based suspect, probably a hawala dealer, had received a part of the sum.
They suggest a woman-led group, which has been trained in Myanmar, may attempt to infiltrate an Indian city before December end. The woman was supposedly sent to Myanmar from Malaysia for the training early this year. However, the identity remains unclear.
According to the intelligence reports, the operatives may infiltrate through the Bangladesh or Nepal border. The intel has alerted police and state intelligence bureaus in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and West Bengal. The likely targets are Delhi, Ayodhya, Bodh Gaya, major cities of West Bengal and Srinagar.
According to the intelligence establishments, a few conduits of the Popular Front of India (PFI) could extend support to the group for logistics.
Who is Zakir Naik?
Zakir Abdul Karim Naik is an Islamic televangelist and preacher who is currently absconding. He is wanted by India over allegations of terror-related activities and inciting extremism through hate speeches. He is currently residing in Malaysia and has been granted permanent resident status there.
He shot to fame during 1990s over his activities of dawah — proselytising for Islam — through his Mumbai-based Islamic Research Foundation. By early 2000s, his videos had become subject of debate as he attempted to establish superiority of Islam over other religions.
Naik launched Peace TV English, a Dubai-based channel, for the propagation of Islam. Later, he also launched Urdu and Bangla versions of it, which has been banned in many countries over allegations of hate campaigns.
The National Investigation Agency says the majority of 127 ISIS terror suspects arrested by the agency claim to have been inspired by Naik’s speeches.
Who are Rohingyas?
The Rohingya are a stateless Indo-Aryan ethnic group who predominantly follow Islam and reside in Mayanmar’s Rakhine province. There were an estimated 1 million Rohingya living in Myanmar before the Rohingya genocide in 2017.
However, tens of thousands of them currently reside in Malaysia and are allegedly known as Tehreek-E-Watan, having close links with Kuwait-based Revival of Islamic Heritage Society (RIHS).
The RIHS has funded many Salafist Islamist terror cells across Asia. Reports claim the Rohingya group was also planning trouble on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border to foil Dhaka’s plans to send back Rohingya refugees to Rakhine.