A French court on Wednesday convicted 20 defendants including Salah Abdeslam and Pakistani national Mohammad Usman for the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed on Wednesday.
It appeared during the investigation that there is an Indian angle.
Subahani Haja Moideen, a Tamil Nadu-based Islamic State operative who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in October 2016, trained with Mohammad Ghani Usman, a former bomb maker from Lashkar -e-Taiba (LeT) who later joined ISIS. and had become his best friend during five months of training in Iraq in 2015.
Moideen, 37, convicted by an Ernakulam court in September 2020 of joining Islamic State told investigators he met Parisian suicide bombers including Abdelhamid Abaaoud (killed in the attack) and Salah Abdeslam while was going to Iraq.
To gather more details, a team of French investigators traveled to Kochi in December 2018 to question Moideen about the training and his links to the Islamic State’s Paris attack brigade. In return, an NIA team had traveled to Paris to interview Usman, who in the past had been close to the LeT leadership; Indian agencies wanted to get additional information from him about the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai.
Abdeslam, a Belgian-born French national, is the only survivor among 10 Paris attackers and was arrested in 2016 after five months on the run. A Paris court sentenced him on Wednesday to life without the possibility of parole. Usman was arrested in Salzburg as he tried to enter France for a “second wave of attacks” with his IS associate Adel Haddadi. Usman and Haddadi were sentenced to 18 years in prison by the Paris court.
It has not been possible to verify whether information shared by Indian agencies with French investigators or obtained directly through the interrogation of Moideen was useful in the trial of Abdeslam, Usman and others.
Originally from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, Moideen left India from Chennai and reached Turkey in April 2015 with the intention of joining the Islamic State; the World Outfit’s influence was at its peak at the time and it held large territories in Iraq and Syria. Moideen then crossed over the land border into Iraq and joined the Islamic State as Abu Jasmine Al-Hindi. “After undergoing religious and military training with ISIS/Daish in Iraq, he was deployed with the Islamic State military formation Umar Ibnu Khatab Khatiba, led by French national Abu Suleiman Al-Francisi, who was later killed “, according to a statement from the NIA in September 2020.
After months of training, he returned to India on September 21, 2015 and attempted to procure explosive chemicals from Sivakasi in Tamil Nadu, based on instructions from his Islamic State handlers, to conduct terrorist attacks in India, in the name of ISIS/Daesh. .
Moideen was placed in a group of 150 members of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTF) from countries such as France, Algeria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Southeast Asian countries including Indonesia, the Philippines, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and other European countries during its formation. . His group was called – Umar Ibnu Khatab Khatiba and was led by a French national by the name of ISIS, Abu Suleiman Al-Francisi.
While in Iraq, he grew closer to Usman because there was no language barrier, he told investigators.