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Gujarat ATS uncovers ISIS links: 04 Sri Lankans with smuggling histories seized

May 23, Colombo (LNW): Two days after the arrest of four Sri Lankan nationals suspected of being ISIS operatives, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) announced that all accused have previous charges related to gold and drug smuggling, Indian media reported.

The suspects have been identified as Mohammad Nusrath (33), Mohammad Faris (35), Mohammad Nafran (27), and Mohammad Rasdeen (43), according to India’s ATS.

It added these individuals were allegedly planning terror attacks under the direction of a handler based in Pakistan.

In a press briefing on Wednesday (22), Gujarat ATS Superintendent of Police Sunil Joshi revealed that Nusrath had previously been apprehended twice at Mumbai airport for gold smuggling.

He also faces charges of assault and narcotics offences in Sri Lanka. Faris has narcotics-related offences in Sri Lanka and has been incarcerated there.

Rasdeen has been arrested for theft and three drug-related offences. Although Nafran has not been previously arrested, he admitted to smuggling gold and drugs from Dubai and Sri Lanka.

Joshi added that Faris and Rasdeen were visiting India for the first time, while Nusrath and Nafran had visited India frequently, with 38 and 40 visits respectively between 2022 and 2023.

Despite their frequent travels, this was their first visit to India since establishing contact with their handler in February. Investigation teams have been formed to examine the details of their previous visits.

The ATS discovered three pistols and 20 cartridges at Nana Chiloda, reportedly linked to the suspects, who were instructed by their handler, identified as ‘Abu’, to collect the arms and stay in a low-profile budget hotel.

In response, Sri Lankan Police announced on Wednesday that a senior deputy inspector general will lead a team to investigate the four citizens arrested in Ahmedabad.

Sri Lanka’s Police spokesman and senior superintendent Nihal Thalduwa confirmed that Inspector General Police Deshabandu Tennakoon has appointed this team.

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