The National Investigative Agency (NIA) has gathered a ‘Kill List’ on Thursday which is said to be prepared by the Islamic State. The IS was planning to target software managers, ethical hackers and professionals who have helped security agencies track down the IS members.
The list has names from across the world including 150 such professional across Maharashtra and nearly 70 from Mumbai.
The security agencies are analysing the list and they suspected may be the list is a strategy to diverting the attention of investigators from the real targets.
Investigators found the list on a laptop belonging to alleged IS recruit Nasir Bin Yafi Chaus from Parbhani in Maharashtra who was arrested. His handler Syria-based Shafi Armar alias Yusuf alias Farooque shared the list. According to the sources, the list detailed names, designations, companies and e-mail addresses of the targets.
The sources said one did not find a particular pattern when studying the list; these were random names. A detailed investigation revealed IS’s one of the intentions was to creating fear among the public and the major plan was to creating a distraction.
This is not the first time such a kill-list was released. Last year in June, the pro-ISIS United Cyber Caliphate hacker group released a list of 8,318 people including their addresses and e-mail details on Telegram. The names were mostly military and government workers.
An official said, “The pro-ISIS hacker group has been sharing such lists on app-based messenger services like Telegram which are difficult to track by counter-terrorism agencies. The US list also had details such as insurance types of targets, their home phone, work phone and cell numbers.”
The officer added, “The list is shared with the sympathizer and if the target is someone in his neighbourhood, he is egged to carry out an attack to prove his allegiance towards IS.”
However, there was no report of such attacks on any individuals appearing on these lists.
Last year between July and August the Maharashtra ATS busted a Parbhani-based alleged IS module. They arrested four youths from Parbhani and Hingoli; Iqbal Kabir Ahmed, Mohd Raisuddin Siddique, Shaheed Khan and Nasir Chaus.
The agency said the group was planning to conduct an attack on the Aurangabad ATS unit. Police claimed they were also planning to attack former Superintendent of Police (SP) Navinchandra Reddy who was involved in an operation against a Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operative in 2012.
The case was registered under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Then it was transferred to the NIA.