After a massive day-long operation at 16 locations across Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) held a news briefing where the revealed shocking facts, figures, recoveries and names that totalled a terrifying plot to attack India. The raids were carried out in tandem with the Delhi Police and Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
NIA IG Alok Mittal gave a complete run-down of the recoveries made and stated that of 16 suspects who have been detained, 10 have been arrested and are being interrogated. They were plotting to target key installations, security installations, important persons (political and non-political) and others.
The press conference extensively delved into the materials that were retrieved during the raids in both Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It was also revealed that the suspects, comprising an ISIS-inspired module, were at an advanced stage of their preparation to carry out a series of blasts.
In the raids, pipes were found as according to the NIA officer they were strategizing to prepare pipe bombs. They were planning both remote IED (Improvised Explosive Device) attacks, as well as fidayeen (suicide bombing) attacks as suicide vests were also seized.
The NIA IG specified that 10 'highly-radicalised' suspects have been arrested out of which five are from Delhi and five from Uttar Pradesh. Some more arrests are expected.
Mufti Sohail, a Maulvi at a mosque in Amroha is known to be the mastermind of the gang who is also directing the plot. IG Alok Mittal also revealed that the accused have been in touch with an international handler and have been communicating over WhatsApp and Telegram.
The persons detained hail from different backgrounds- one has a welding shop, one is a civil engineer, one is a business student, one has a garment store, while another is a driver. One suspect is a female.
As per the information, training for the suspects was conducted locally. The identity and current whereabouts of the international handler are still unknown
As per the information received right now, the ISIS-inspired module planned to target vital installations, security installations, important persons and crowded places.
The suspects are believed to be largely self-funded, including some who robbed gold and jewellery from their houses and sold it to buy materials to make bombs. With the level of preparation, they had planned to strike an attack soon, the NIA IG said.
WhatsApp and Telegram were used for their internal communication. The module in question was conceived three to four months back.
More raids are likely to be conducted
Press Release by NIA
(NIA crackdown on ISIS module ‘ Harkat-ul- Harb-e-Islam’)
In an early morning action today, NIA carried out searches at 17 locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in a major crackdown on an ISIS-inspired module styled as ‘Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam’, with active support of Delhi Police and UP Police/UP ATS.
2. 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, NIA on 20.12.2018, registered a case under sections 120B, 121, 121A, 122 of IPC, Sections 4 & 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.
3. The inputs were further developed and field verifications were done. It was ascertained that Mufti Mohd. Suhail @ Hazrath and his associates have mobilized funds and have procured weapons, ammunition and explosive material to prepare IED’s and bombs and they plan to carry out explosions and fidayeen attacks at places of importance in & around Delhi and also target crowded places. To disrupt and dismantle the module, searches were carried out today at 6 places in Jafrabad, Seelampur, Delhi, and 11 places in Uttar Pradesh i.e. 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 seized items include 25 kg of explosive material, such as Potassium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate, Sulphur, Sugar material paste, 12 pistols, 150 rounds of live ammunition, 1 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, 3 laptops, knife, sword, ISIS-related literature and a cash amount of Rs. 7.5 lacs approximately.
4. In connection with this case, the following accused persons have been arrested by NIA :
i) Mufti Mohd. Suhail@Hazrath s/o Hafeez Ahmad, 29 years, native of Amroha and working as Mufti in a Madrasa at Hakim Mahtab Uddin Hashmi Road, Amroha, UP. He was presently staying at Jaffrabad, Delhi, and had tasked other team members to procure arms, explosives and other accessories to prepare IED’s and pipe-bombs.
ii) Anas Yunus S/o Mohd. Younus, 24 years, r/o Jafrabad, Delhi. He is pursuing Civil Engineering at a University in,Noida. He was instrumental in procuring electrical items, alarm clocks & batteries etc. in furtherance of their terror conspiracy.
iii) Rashid Zafar Raq@ Zafar s/o Iqbal Ahmad, 23 years, r/o Jafrabad, Delhi. He is into garments business.
iiii) Saeed@ Sayeed s/o Habeeb, 28 years, r/o Saidapur Imma, Amroha, UP and has a welding shop in Amroha.
v) Raees Ahmad S/o Habeeb and brother of Said @ Sayeed, r/o Saidapur Imma, Amroha, UP and has a Karkhana (welding shop) at IslamNagar, Near Idgah, Amroha, Uttar Pradesh.
The two brothers Saeed and Raees had procured huge quantity of explosive material/gun powder (approx.25 kg) for preparing IED’s and pipe bombs and were instrumental in fabricating a rocket launcher to carry out terrorist attacks.
vi) Zubair Malik s/o Gulzar Ahmad, 20 years, r/o Jaffrabad, Delhi, studying in B.A 3rd year at a University in Delhi.
vii) Zaid Malik, s/o Gulzar Ahmad, brother of Zabair Malik, 22 years, r/o Jaffrabad, Delhi. Both the brothers i.e. Zaid & Zubair 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 material.
viii) Saqib Iftekar s/o Iftekar,26 r/o Vait, PO Simbhaoli, Hapur, Uttar Pradesh and working as Imam in Jama Masjid, Baksar, Uttar Pradesh. He helped the master-mind Mufti Mohd. Suhail in procuring weapons.
ix) Mohd. Irshad s/o Ishtiyak, r/o Mohalla Qazi Zada, Amroha, Uttar Pradesh. He is an auto-rickshaw driver and was helping Mohd. Suhail in arranging a hide-out for keeping the material for making IED’s and bombs.
x) Mohd. Azam s/o Hafiz Ahmad, 35 years, r/o Chauhan Bajar, Gashi Mendu, Delhi. He runs a medical shop in Seelampur, Shahdara, Delhi and helped the master-mind in arranging weapons.
5. Apart from these accused, some other suspects are being examined. The arrested accused would be produced before the NIA Special Court, Patiala Court House, New Delhi tomorrow. Further investigation of the case is continued to unearth the larger terror conspiracy.