NIA bust ISIS-Style module, arrest 10 fidayeen
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday busted a new module of ISIS-styled international terror group Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam (warriors for Cause of Islam) and arrested 10 suspected fidayeen. They were suspected to be in an advanced stage of executing terror plots that included synchronised IED hits at multiple targets like vital installations, sensitive locations and crowded places, besides important political personalities.
The arrests came after raids at 17 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. Five persons have been nabbed from UP and five from the national Capital. They were in touch through instant messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, sources said, adding they were highly radicalised and trying to assemble remote-controlled IEDs and suicide vests.
The arrested accused are also suspected to be in touch with a handler abroad, the details of which are under the scrutiny of the security agencies. The module was formed three-four months back and the National Investigation Agency did not rule out the possibility of attacks during the Republic Day celebrations next month.
The exposure of the module marks a major shift in the ISIS strategy in the Indian hinterland as the outfit has hitherto tried to radicalise the youth for carrying out the terror group’s agenda in the West Asia and not hitting targets in India.
In a multi-city early morning operation in the national Capital and Uttar Pradesh in association with the local police, the National Investigation Agency picked up 16 suspects and placed 10 suspects under arrest, including the mastermind Mohammad Sohail, a mufti from Amroha in Uttar Pradesh. The agency also seized a huge cache of explosives, weapons, materials for fabrication of IEDs and Rs 7.5 lakh cash from the suspects. A woman suspect is also being questioned by the agency sleuths and more arrests are likely, officials said.
On receipt of credible information that a group of pro-ISIS individuals have formed a terrorist gang and they are preparing to carry out terrorist attacks targeting vital installations, sensitive locations and crowded places in and around Delhi/NCR, the agency registered a case on December 20 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Explosive Substances Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act against the module mastermind Mufti Mohmmad Suhail, alias Hazrath.
“The inputs were further developed and field verifications were done. It was ascertained that the Mufti and his associates have mobilised funds and have procured weapons, ammunition and explosive material to prepare IEDs and bombs and they planned to carry out explosions and fidayeen attacks at places of importance in and around Delhi and also target crowded places. To disrupt and dismantle the module, searches were carried out today at six places in Jafrabad, Seelampur, Delhi, and 11 places in UP, including six locations in Amroha, two in Lucknow, two in Hapur and one in Meerut,” National Investigation Agency spokesperson Alok Mittal said.
Huge quantities of explosive material, arms and ammunition and other incriminating material and documents were seized, he said.
The seized items include 25 kg of explosive materials like Potassium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate, Sulphur, Sugar material paste, 12 pistols, 150 rounds of live ammunition, one country-made rocket launcher, 112 alarm clocks, mobile phone circuits, batteries, 51 pipes, remote control car triggering switch, wireless digital doorbell for remote switch, steel containers, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, three laptops, knife, sword, ISIS-related literature besides the cash.
The chief conspirator Suhail, 29, was working as Mufti in a madrasa at Hakim Mahtab Uddin Hashmi Road, Amroha, UP. He was presently staying at Jaffrabad in the national Capital and had tasked other team members to procure arms, explosives and other accessories to prepare IED’s and pipe-bombs. He had also given a demonstration on fabrication of the IEDs, Mittal said.
The other arrested accused Anas Yunus, 24, is a resident of Jafrabad, Delhi and is pursuing Civil Engineering course at a private University in Noida. The third year engineering student was instrumental in procuring electrical items, alarm clocks and batteries in furtherance of the terror conspiracy. Zubair Malik, 20, of Jaffrabad, Delhi, is studying in third year student of BA at a university in Delhi.
The fourth accused Rashid Zafar Raq alias Zafar, 23, is also a resident of Jafrabad and he is into garments business. The fourth accused Saeed alias Sayeed, 28, is a resident of Saidapur Imma, Amroha and has a welding shop there.
Other accused Raees Ahmad of Saidapur Imma, Amroha is also an owner of welding shop there.
The two brothers Saeed and Raees had procured huge quantity of explosive material/gun powder (approximately.25 kg) for preparing IED’s and pipe bombs and were instrumental in fabricating a rocket launcher to carry out terrorist attacks, the National Investigation Agency said.
Zaid and Zubair, both brother, were part of the terror conspiracy and were instrumental in procuring batteries, connectors, SIM cards on fake documents and mobilising funds for buying bomb-making materials.
Saqib Iftekar, 26, of Simbhaoli, Hapur, Uttar Pradesh was working as Imam in Jama Masjid, Baksar, Uttar Pradesh. He helped the mastermind Suhail in procuring weapons.
Mohammad Irshad of Mohalla Qazi Zada, Amroha is an auto-rickshaw driver and was helping Suhail in arranging a hide-out for keeping the material for making IED’s and bombs.
Mohammad Azam, 35, is a resident of Chauhan Bajar, Gashi Mendu, Delhi. He runs a medical shop in Seelampur, Shahdara and helped the mastermind in arranging weapons.
Apart from these accused, some other suspects are being examined and more arrests may be subsequently, Mittal said.
The arrested accused would be produced before the National Investigation Agency Special Court on Thursday and the agency is likely to seek police remand to unearth the larger terror conspiracy.
Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Maulana Masood Azhar had on December 4 said that he was keeping a watch on the political developments related to Ayodhya and will strike back when needed. The busting of the module could also be linked to Al Qaeda affiliate JeM. JeM is a franchise of Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda in Indian subcontinent is operating directly. Ansar Ghazwatul Hind is also a franchise of Al Qaeda and its operations are limited to Jammu & Kashmir. The busting of the module also hints at insufficiency of the measures taken by the UP police and Delhi Police against crime and criminals as the inimical forces not only radicalized themselves but were on an advanced level of planning for the series of attacks in Delhi and North India, sources in the security agencies said adding counter radicalization measures have also not been up to the mark. Read more posts…
Thursday, 27 December 2018 | PNS | New Delhi-–