12/27/2018 1:28:38 PM
|written By : Team India Se|
India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday (December 26) unearthed a terrorist cell inspired by the Islamic State (ISIS) terror group and arrested 10 suspects. Six others were detained and could be arrested as well following interrogation, officials said.
The group, Harkat ul Harb e Islam, was planning to carry out blasts in north India, especially Delhi, and attack politicians and government installations.
A Muslim cleric, an engineering student from a private university in Noida and a third-year graduation student in humanities were among those arrested. They were in touch with foreign handlers, whose identity is yet to be established, NIA inspector general Alok Mittal told reporters.
Mittal said searches were carried out in Delhi as well as in UP's Lucknow, Amroha and Hapur districts where a huge quantity of explosives, a country-made rocket launcher, 100 mobile phones and 135 SIM cards were recovered. Twelve locally made pistols, 150 rounds of live ammunition, knives and swords, and material for making suicide vests were also found.
The group was formed three to four months ago and kept in touch with one another through WhatsApp and Telegram.
The cleric, Mohd. Suhail 29, who worked as a mufti or Muslim legal expert at a madrasa in Amroha in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and was currently staying in Delhi, was the alleged mastermind of the group Harkat ul Harb e Islam, which can be loosely translated as “war for the cause of Islam”. He allegedly radicalised the group, aged between 20 and 35, and tasked them to procure arms, explosives and accessories to make remote-controlled bombs and pipe-bombs. A video has been seized where he can be heard giving instructions on how to make a bomb.
Another cleric, Saqib Iftekar, 26, who worked as an imam at a mosque in Baksar, Uttar Pradesh, was also arrested. He allegedly helped procure weapons.
“It was a self-funded group. They stole gold ornaments from their homes and sold them to fund their activities. They were planning to detonate a remote-controlled in a fedayeen kind of attack,” said Mittal.
The engineering student, Anas Yunus, 24, who was enrolled in a civil engineering course at a university in Noida, allegedly helped procure electrical items, alarm clocks and batteries.
Zubair Malik, 20, a third-year humanities student in Delhi, and his brother, Zaid Malik, 22, were also arrested. They allegedly helped procure batteries, connectors and SIM cards and raise funds for buying bomb-making material.
Among the others arrested were Rashid Zafar Raq, 23 , who was in the garments business, Saeed alias Sayeed, 28, who has a welding shop in Amroha, and his brother, Raees Ahmad, also a welding shop owner. The brothers allegedly procured a huge quantity of explosives for making bombs. and pipe bombs and were instrumental in fabricating a rocket launcher to carry out terrorist attacks. Some pistols and a rocket launcher were allegedly made in Saeed’s welding shop in Amrohi.
Also arrested were Mohd. Irshad, an auto-rickshaw driver in his late 20s, who allegedly helped Mohd. Suhail arrange hide-outs for keeping the bomb-making material, and Mohd. Azam, 35, who runs a medical shop in Delhi and allegedly helped procure weapons.