The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) visited Kolkata last week to question arrested IS operative Mohammad Masiuddin alias Musa. Their purpose was to know more information about Musa’s Syria-based handler Shafi Armar alias Yousuf al-Hindi and his plan to harm US interests.
Sources said US agencies have been tracking Armar. They suspect he has a connection with radicalised American youth. The agencies also suspect that may be his plan is to target US interests and American citizens in India or any other countries.
Last Thursday, the FBI team questioning Musa for several hours. After the interrogation, the seven-member team shared their review with the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The FBI officers came into conclusion that Musa was highly motivated to conduct terror missions and he was a potential suicide bomber.
But the FBI’s main concern is Armar who is now in Syria and conspiring to target Americans and other foreign citizens.
Shafi Armar belonged to Bhatkal and was a former SIMI operative. He has been recruiting Indians for the terror group IS and named himself Yousuf-al-Hindi. He has also created several units in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in past 18 months.
TOI reported in August, Armar had prepared Musa to carry out ‘lone wolf’ attack against foreigners. He continuously directed Musa over the internet.
Musa was close to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leader Mohammad Suleiman or ‘Jehadi John’ on the web. Through Suleiman, Musa joined the IS and came in touch with IS India’s principal recruiter Armar.
Government Railway Police and Birbhum police arrested Musa on 4th July from Viswa Bharati Fast Passenger train at Burdwan railway station.
CM Mamata Banerjee was not happy
West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee when got the news that FBI came to Kolkata last week to question Musa, she expressed her displeasure.
According to sources, director general of police of West Bengal Surajit Kar Purkayastha called DG NIA Sharad Kumar to convey state government’s annoyance at the FBI’s surprise visit.
A source said West Bengal wanted an explanation on why the state government was not aware of their visit.
NIA told the authorities that according to the international agency-to-agency cooperation there was no need to inform the state government before calling FBI or any other international agency.