NIA IG Alok Mittal briefing media persons about raids in New Delhi on Wednesday (left), recovery made during the raid (right). Photo/ANI
NIA IG Alok Mittal briefing media persons about raids in New Delhi on Wednesday (left), recovery made during the raid (right). Photo/ANI

NIA busts ISIS-inspired terror module; arrests 10 terrorists

ANI | Updated: Dec 26, 2018 20:40 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 26 (ANI): An ISIS-inspired module, planning to carry out major terror attacks ahead of the Republic Day, was busted on Wednesday with the arrest of 10 terrorists by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in multi-city raids.
The NIA sleuths carried out coordinated raids at 17 places - 6 in Delhi and 10 in Uttar Pradesh - and recovered a large quantity of arms, ammunition and explosives, including 12 pistols along with 150 rounds, a country- made rocket launcher, a top official of the agency said.
Important personalities, including politicians, vital installations and crowded places were on the hit of list of the new ISIS-styled terror module 'Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam', which was planning to strike very soon, the official said.
"The level of preparation suggests that they planned to carry out an attack at the earliest," NIA Inspector General (IG) Alok Mittal told reporters.
He said the attacks were planned in the form of remote-controlled Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) or a suicide attack, for which even bullet-proof vests had been made.
"To disrupt and dismantle the module, searches were carried out today at six places in Jaffrabad, Seelampur, Delhi, and 11 places in Uttar Pradesh, that is 6 in Amroha, 2 in Lucknow, 2 in Hapur and 1 in Meerut and huge quantities of explosive material, arms and ammunition, and other incriminating material and documents were seized," the NIA said in a statement.
Among the terrorists, four were arrested from Amroha, one from Hapur in Uttar Pradesh, and five from Delhi.
The included an engineering student and a 3rd year BA student of a university in Delhi.
The mastermind of the module was Mufti Mohammad Suhail alias Hazrath, a 29-year-old head priest of a mosque in Amroha who was staying in Jaffrabad in Delhi, the NIA said.
He had tasked other team members to procure arms, explosives, and other accessories to prepare IED's and pipe-bombs, the NIA added.
"This was an entirely new ISIS-inspired module... They were in touch with some foreign-based handlers, exact location and identity of whom is yet to be established," the NIA IG said.
The module was largely self-funded, Mittal said, adding some accused had stolen gold from their homes and purchased alarm clocks, explosive items and other material.
"Rs 7.5 lakh cash was recovered during the raids along with nearly 100 mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, laptops, and memory chips. Some of the searches are still underway," he said.
The members of the module extensively used the messaging applications like WhatsApp for their internal communication.
The arrested accused would be produced before the NIA Special Court on Thursday even as "further investigation of the case continues to unearth the larger terror conspiracy."
A statement issued by the NIA said two brothers Saeed and Raees had procured a huge quantity of explosive material/gunpowder, approximately 25 kg, for preparing IEDs and pipe bombs and were instrumental in fabricating a rocket launcher to carry out terrorist attacks.
Mohammad Irshad, a resident of Mohalla Qazi Zada in, Amroha, is an auto-rickshaw driver and was helping Mohammad Suhail in arranging a hide-out for keeping the material for making IEDs and bombs, says the NIA statement.
"Saqib Iftekar, a 26-year-old resident of Simbhaoli in Hapur, was working as Imam in Jama Masjid, Baksar, UP, the NIA said, adding he helped the mastermind in procuring weapons.
According to NIA, 24-year-old Anas Yunus, a resident of Jaffrabad in Delhi, is pursuing Civil Engineering at a University in Noida, and was "instrumental in procuring electrical items, alarm clocks, and batteries etc. in furtherance of their terror conspiracy."
Zubair Malik, 20-year-old resident of Jaffrabad in Delhi, is a BA third year student at a university in Delhi, the INA said.
"On receipt of credible information that a group of pro-ISIS individuals has 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, NIA on 20.12.2018, registered a case under Sections 120B, 121, 121A, 122 of IPC, Sections 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act and Sections 17,18,18 B, 20,38 and 39 of the UA(P) Act against the mastermind of the module, viz. Mufti Mohd. Suhail @ Hazrath, s/o Hafiz Ahmad, native of Amroha, UP and his associates and investigation was taken up forthwith," said NIA in the statement.
"The inputs were further developed and field verifications were done. It was ascertained that Mufti Mohd Suhail @ Hazrath and his associates have mobilised funds and have procured weapons, ammunition, and explosive material to prepare IEDs and bombs and they plan to carry out explosions and fidayeen attacks at places of importance in and around Delhi and also target crowded places," added NIA.
"The seized items include 25 kg of explosive material, such as potassium nitrate, ammonium nitrate, sulfur, 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 and cash amount of Rs 7.5 lakh approximately," added NIA in the statement. (ANI)