NIA to question Pakistan-origin terrorist in France jail for ISIS-LET links

The NIA will soon send a Letter Rogatory to France seeking permission to question Pakistan-origin Lashkar bomb maker Mohammed Usman, who is currently jailed in Paris

The National Investigation Agency will soon send a Letter Rogatory (LR) to France seeking permission to question Pakistan-origin Lashkar bomb maker Mohammed Usman, who is currently an inamte in a Paris jail.

Two men from Usman's group, Ahmad al-Mohammad and Mohamad al-Mahmod, reached Paris and blew themselves up outside the National Stadium during the attacks that also targeted a theatre and a restaurant in November 2015, killing 130 people.

Haddadi and Usman set out from the capital of the self-declared ISIS caliphate in Raqqa, Syria, six weeks before the Paris attacks. But they were arrested in Greece. They pretended to be Syrian refugees attempting to enter Austria, but were arrested by alert cops, and eventually handed over to France.

INDIAN LINK

The first Indian link emerged when Subhani Haja Moideen, who was arrested from Tamil Nadu recently, revealed to the NIA that he knew the Paris attackers.

Though he could not identify them using their names, he recognized them from photographs, and said the duo were in the same training camp.

He also told the agency that the two killed terrorists and two in custody had been seen in the Syria camp where he trained. He also said Usman and he shared pleasantries, and that the LET operative told him that he was training in an LET Camp in Afghanistan before arriving in Iraq.

The NIA now wants to interrogate Usman on the possible ISIS-LET link and Lashkar camps in Afghanistan, and - importantly - corroborate Subhani's statements.

INDIAN SLEUTHS HAND OVER QUESTIONS TO FRENCH INVESTIGATORSUsman is currently in judicial custody, but Indian sleuths have handed over a list of questions to French investigators.

A three-member team comprising of two NIA officials and one official from the IB were in French capital Paris earlier this week, working closely.

Although sources reveal that French police are unlikely to question the Indian ISIS recruit in connection to the Paris attacks, they were keen to find out the terror trail. Moideen had said that though he knew the Paris attackers, he was unaware of the Paris terror attacks of 2015.

The NIA also disclosed what Moideen told the agency - that he saw the attackers in Mosul, Iraq, he was in a camp which was close to where the Paris attackers were staying. He said that they addressed the man who trained them as Al-Francisi.

Moideen, a resident of Tirunelveli, had joined ISIS in 2015. However, he claimed that he was shaken badly by the bloodshed in Iraq. He decided to leave Iraq. When he informed the ISIS handler about it, his informer was angry and Moideen was jailed. He later claimed that ISIS let him off, after which he returned to India and picked up a job as salesperson.

However, a few months later, he was back to surfing ISIS sites and decided to setting up a module in South India.