ISIS-inspired Terror Module Planned to Target Politicians: NIA
A large amount of arms, ammunition, explosives & a pistol were recovered, said IG of UP Police’s Anti-Terror Squad.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches across 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi in connection with its probe into a new ISIS-inspired module on Wednesday, 26 December, officials said.
After an initial interrogation of the 16 suspects, the NIA had decided to arrest 10 accused who will be produced before NIA special court on Thursday, reported ANI.
The NIA said the group was in an “advanced stage of carrying out a series of blasts” across the country and had “vital installations and important personalities, including politicians” on their target.
The group is self-financed and its only foreign link is a suspected handler who is as yet an online entity, The Indian Express quoted NIA sources as saying.
Meanwhile, the NIA also arrested a 25-year-old man who was missing in connection with a case of IS-inspired youths from Kerala joining IS, officials said.
Habeeb Rahman, from Wayanad, was arrested in the two-year old IS Kasaragod Module case, the agency said in a statement.
The family members of the accused arrested by the NIA are now seeking permission to meet them, ANI reported. They are moving separate pleas in Delhi's Patiala House Court
Speaking about the arrests on Thursday, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the bust was a big success and congratulated the agency for its work.
WHY DID NIA CONDUCT THE RAIDS?
A new ISIS-inspired module styled as 'Harkat ul Harb e Islam', which was in an advanced stage of carrying out a series of blasts, was busted by NIA after they conducted searches at 17 locations in UP and Delhi.
“Level of preparation,” the Inspector General of NIA said, “suggests their aim was to carry out explosions in near future by remote control blasts and fidayeen attacks. This is a new ISIS-inspired module which was in touch with a foreign agent. Identities of the suspects is yet to be established.”
WHAT DID NIA RECOVER FROM THE RAIDS?
In searches conducted in Delhi’s Seelampur and UP’s Amroha, Hapur, Meerut and Lucknow, the NIA recovered total amount worth Rs 7.5 lakh, nearly 100 mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, and laptops and memory cards were also seized.
Large quantities of explosive materials, weapons and ammunitions – including a country-made rocket launcher – have been recovered so far.
“A large number of explosives such as ammonium nitrate have been recovered in the raids. The suspects were planning a big terror strike. A pistol has also been recovered from the raid,” Asim Arun, inspector general of police of Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad told Firstpost.
WHO WERE THE POSSIBLE TARGETS?
The NIA said that the terror cell was purportedly planning attacks on senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders, as per a Hindustan Times report.
“Their plan to carry out serial blasts was in an advanced stage. It could have been as early as on the New Year’s Eve. Senior RSS and BJP leaders were discussed as possible targets of the group which was under surveillance of the security establishment for over four months,” a senior security official said, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
WHO WAS HEADING THE NEW ISIS-INSPIRED MODULE?
The ring leader of the module is called Mufti Sohail, who stays in Delhi and is a native of Amroha in UP where he works at a mosque, IG of NIA said.
The group had been under NIA surveillance for some time following inputs of their suspicious activities, officials said.
Among those arrested, is a student of civil engineering studying in third year, reported Firstpost.
Inspector General of ATS Asim Arun said that of the 10 persons detained by the anti-terror probe agency, five, including the head of the module, were picked up from the western Uttar Pradesh district of Amroha following a joint operation with the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad.
(With inputs from PTI and Firstpost)
(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.