A chargesheet has been filed against Mohammad Musa, suspected Islamic State sympathizer and aspiring foot soldier, who had allegedly been tasked with killing foreigners visiting Kolkata. Arrested in Burdwan Station on July 4, the 25-year-old planned to carry out attacks on the headquarters of the Missionaries of Charity in central Kolkata, where Saint Teresa of Kolkata lies buried, as many foreigners congregate there.
Musa was to himself accompany the attackers in the strike, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has mentioned in its chargesheet filed at a special court. Investigators say that he had intended to carry out lone wolf attack, as in the Orlando in the US and France’s Nice.
Reads a page of the chargesheet, “A-1 (Md Mussa) discusses about some plan and selects Mother Teresa House as the target for terrorist attack in Kolkata and appraises that foreigners (British, Russians, Americans) are easily found there and tells that during the attack, A-1 would accompany.”
Musa told the interrogators that a blueprint for the attack on the Mother House was in the works. His aim was to target British, American and Russian tourists, who regularly visit the Mother House, in retaliation to the bombing of IS forces in Syria and Libya by these world powers.
Reads the NIA document, “A-1 discusses with the member on the other side about the locations of Mother Teresa House in Kolkata that is at Ripon Street, Sealdah Railway Station, Park Circus and tells that the foreigners viz. Russians, Britishers and Americans often visit that place and they can be attacked since they had bombarded the ISIS in Syria and Libya. He tells that the ISIS is accruing loss and advises the member to remain in disguise as a non-Muslim.”
Musa made these startling confessions while being interrogated by FBI sleuths in Kolkata earlier this month at the NIA office in Salt Lake, during which local investigators were also present.
Kolkata police has stepped up security arrangements outside Mother House. An eight-member quick response team was deployed, and another will join later. Plainclothes cops have also been strategically placed in the neighborhood to keep tabs on “suspicious” strangers. The security arrangements will continue for the next few days.
Officers of NIA said Musa had close contact with Bangladesh-based Jamat Ul Mujahiddin Bangladesh or JMB, which is said to be responsible for the attack on Dhaka’s Holey Artisan cafe that killed 20 people, including an Indian student, in July this year.
The people with whom Mussa used to discuss his Kolkata plans through cell phone app Telegram were Abu Sulaiman, IS operative and alleged mastermind of the Dhaka attack, Safi Omar, who is an Indian Mujahideen suspect, and other followers of IS and Jamaat-e-Mujahideen, a banned terrorist organization of Bangladesh.
Musa was arrested by the Intelligence Bureau and the NIA from Visva-Bharati Fast Passenger at Burdwan railway station. He was carrying a knife – apparently to kill a businessman in order to prove his worth for bigger assignments. He was also carrying a camera to record the killing.
The NIA is still trying to identify his ISIS handler, who, they say, had instructed him to carry out attacks on foreigners, primarily US and British citizens.