Top PFI leaders were recruiting Muslim youths in IS: What we know about crackdown on radical outfit

According to the intelligence inputs received by the Home Ministry, top leaders of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were recruiting Indian Muslim youths in terrorist organisation IS with an intention to carry out terrorist activities in the country.

A security person keeps vigil outside the Popular Front of India (PFI) party office in Navi Mumbai. (PTI Photo)

Top leaders of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were recruiting Indian Muslim youths in terrorist organisation IS with an intention of carrying out terrorist activities in the country, the Home Ministry received intelligence inputs according to documents accessed by India Today. Home Minister Amit Shah ordered an unprecedented operation against the PFI leaders and members.

The central government received solid input that top PFI leaders, members, office bearers and cadres, along with others, are conspiring and raising funds within India and abroad through banking channels, hawala networks along with donations for committing terrorist acts in various parts of India.

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The input also revealed that two PFI members - Ansad Badruddin and Maud Ahmed, who were involved in terror acts, received funds from various PFI accounts.

Along with a conspiracy to commit a terror attack, the PFI members were also involved in preparation of the acts with the intention of striking terror into the minds of the general public. A few members of the organisation were also found to be involved in providing training to other members to commit terrorist acts.

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The input shared with the union government also disclosed that some of the accused PFI members were actively promoting enmity among different groups and causing communal disharmony in society through social media and other platforms.

“They have also been involved in radicalising and recruiting Muslim youth to join proscribed terrorist organizations like ISIS and sacrifice their lives for religion and for provoking them to commit violent and unlawful activities. These people are also involved in activities supporting and furthering the proscribed terrorist organisations like SIMI and IS,” reads a document by the probe agency.

The National Investigative Agency (NIA) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday raided over 200 premises in 15 states along with anti-terror squad of several state police.

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While the NIA has established PFI’s role in terror activities during its investigation in several cases, the Enforcement Directorate recently revealed that more than Rs 120 crore have been deposited in the accounts of PFI and related entities over the past few years out of which major part was deposited in cash.

Apart from generating huge amounts of illegal money, according to probe agencies, PFI was involved in unlawful activities. Recently, PFI was allegedly inciting violence and fomenting trouble leading to Delhi riots of February 2020, visit of PFI and CFI members to Hathras with the intent of disturbing communal harmony.

The agencies also came across evidence that PFI through its members has been involved in inciting communal riots, spreading terror, plan to form a terrorist gang, collection of deadly weapons and explosive devices to simultaneously launch attacks at prominent and sensitive places.

In another case, NIA got hold of leads in which the PFI members were organising training camp with intent to cause disturbance during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit in Bihar’s Patna visit on July 12, 2022. The accused were also involved in preparing, printing and possessing incriminating literature having potential to pose threat to the unity, integrity and sovereignty of the nation.

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