Lucknow: The UP Anti-Terrorism Squad said in a statement Saturday that the Gorakhnath temple attack accused Ahmed Murtaza who was arrested after he attacked security personnel deployed outside the main gate (south gate) of the Gorakhnath temple on April 3 had allegedly taken an oath of allegiance of “Ansar ul-Tawhid.” This terrorist group was merged into ISIS in 2014.
The UP ATS said that Murtaza allegedly transferred a total of Rs. 8.5 lakhs to different accounts in Europe and US “to support the terror activities of the organisation via ISIS supporters.”
In a statement, UP ADG (law and order) Prashant Kumar said that accused Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi had attacked the police personnel deployed outside the south gate of the Gorakhnath temple.
“In connection with the same, an FIR was lodged against him. Later, relevant sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) were added. The investigation was taken over by UP ATS on April 5. They have carried out detailed questioning of the accused and a detailed data analysis of the different electronic devices recovered from him has been carried out. Analysis was carried out of the different social media accounts of the accused including Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, etc. His bank accounts, e-wallets, and his financial transactions from his bank accounts were also analysed. The accused was in contact with ISIS sympathisers and ISIS fighters via different social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Telegram. He was also in touch with ISIS propaganda activist Mehndi Masroor Biswas who was arrested by Bengaluru police in 2014 via his social media account,” Kumar said.
Influenced by jihadi literature
He added that the accused was “fully influenced” by “radical preachers” and the “jihadi literature” which would further the jihadi ideology and such audio/videos.
“With an intent to carry out the terror activity, the accused read articles on arms like AK-47 rifle, M4 carbine, and missile technology on the internet. He practiced with the “air rifle” so that when he gets a real weapon, he can complete his motive. As per the ISIS ideology, to carry out the terror act, the accused attacked the personnel deployed outside the south gate of the Gorakhnath temple with a banka (sharp weapon) and tried to snatch the rifle of the personnel in the lone wolf attack technique,” he said.
ThePrint had earlier reported that as visuals of the Gorakhpur temple attack gained traction online, a video with three masked men, one holding a machete, in front of an IS flag, was released on Telegram channels and other social media platforms.
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Father claims son has “suicidal tendencies”
In an interview with ABP News and Republic World, Munnir Ahmed, the father of the accused had claimed that his son had “suicidal tendencies” and was “mentally unstable.”
When asked about this angle, the ADG told ThePrint, “We have collected evidence and submitted it in the court. Details can only be shared by ATS investigating officer. Some medicines, etc may have been given but that is not a relevant fact. His act and the material facts are more significant,” he said.
Murtaza was sent to 14-day judicial custody on April 16 after the ATS produced him in an ACJM court after his remand ended and was sent to 14-day judicial custody.
Since his arrest, the ATS has taken him on remand twice. The court had earlier transferred the case to an NIA court in Lucknow after the agency moved an application to this effect.
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(Edited by; Manoj Ramachandran)