In touch with Russia: MEA on arrest of IS terrorist


New Delhi, August 25

India on Thursday said it is in touch with Russian authorities over arrest of an alleged Islamic State (IS) terrorist who was planning to target an Indian politician from the ruling party.

“We are aware of the case obviously. We are in touch with the Russian authorities in the matter. But given the security implications, we are not in a position to share further details in the matter,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said.

He was replying to a question on the issue at a media briefing.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh thanked his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu over Russian authorities arresting the alleged suicide bomber. Singh conveyed his appreciation to Shoigu when he exchanged pleasantries with the Russian defence minister at a conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in Tashkent.

“During exchange of pleasantries with Russian Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu this morning, Rajnath Singh conveyed his deep appreciation and thanks for arresting in Moscow a terrorist who was planning attacks in India,” the defence ministry said.

Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) said on Monday that it has detained the Islamic State terrorist from a Central Asian country who underwent special training to carry out a suicide attack against a member of India’s leadership elite for the offensive comments on the Prophet.

It said the foreign national was recruited by one of the Islamic State’s ringleaders as a suicide bomber sometime between April and June 2022 while he was in Turkey.

“The Federal Security Service has identified and apprehended in Russia a member of the outlawed (by the Russian Federation) Islamic State international terrorist organisation. The detainee is a native of a Central Asian country, who planned to commit a terrorist attack against a member of India’s ruling circles by blowing himself up,” the FSB said.

The terrorist’s “ideological indoctrination was conducted remotely via Telegram messenger accounts and during personal meetings in Istanbul with an IS representative,” the Russian Federal Security Service’s Centre for Public Relations said.

The FSB noted that the would-be suicide bomber swore allegiance to the IS Emir (chief), after which he was instructed to leave for Russia, draw up the necessary documents and fly to India to commit this act of terrorism, according to a report by Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency.

The BJP suspended party spokesperson Nupur Sharma and expelled its Delhi media head Naveen Kumar Jindal over their controversial remarks on the Prophet that sparked protests in the Muslim world in June this year.