Kathmandu (AsiaNews) – Four Indian Islamist terrorists have been able to travel in Europe and Asia for years using fake Nepali passports, issued by corrupt Nepali officials.
The authorities identified the four as Sahanwaj Miya, Mohmad Ahmad Hussein Miya, Mohamad Fahad Ansari and Irshad Ansari, all of whom are on India’s most wanted list.
The four Indian nationals were involved in a series of terrorist attacks carried out in India since 2008 in the cities of Banaras, Gorakhpur, Faijabad, Jayapur, Ahamdabad, Lukhnow and New Delhi. At least 166 people were killed in these attacks.
Nepali police noted that close collaboration with their Indian counterpart led to the discovery of the terrorist activities of members of the Indian Mujahedeen Islamist group, which was founded in 2008 in India to fight for the creation of an Islamic state in South Asia.
According to investigators, the terrorists were able to enter Nepal illegally and bribed officials in Sunsari district (southern Nepal) to obtain false passports and citizenship. The inquiry shows that the passports were used by at least six years.
"These people are using fake Nepali passports to travel in different places,” Nepal’s Interior Minister of Nepal admitted. “The government of Nepal is taking steps to cancel these passports and monitor terrorist activities."
Some retired officials fear however that scores of such documents exist. "The administration should investigate and permanently end such abuses,” former Interior Minister Bhim Rawal told AsiaNews. “We are worried that dozens of similar cases have occurred because of corrupt Nepali officials.”
“We have to stop all terrorist activities and every form of support for these groups,” Rawal said. “Otherwise, the terrorists will take advantage of the country’s political instability, poverty and rampant corruption."
The government of Nepal has summoned the officials who granted the false citizenship and passports. The case is now before the courts, which are deciding what punishment to impose on corrupt officials.
During the investigation, some people claimed to be related to the four men, which was later proved unfounded.
Investigators also found that the terrorists underwent a period of training in Pakistan, where one of the four, Sahanwaj Miya, is still supposed to be.
The other three are instead on their way to Europe to pursue their activities and gain support from other Islamic groups.
The joint investigation confirmed what had been noted in recent years, namely that Islamic terrorists are trying to use the territory of Nepal for their criminal activities.
In 2014 for example, Indian police arrested Tehseen Akhtar, 23, a mujahideen leader who came from a region bordering on Nepal.