The National Investigation Agency foils terror strikes in Delhi
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday arrested 10 alleged members of an Islamic State inspired module and detained six suspects in a joint operation with the Delhi police’s Special Cell and the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Uttar Pradesh. The accused persons, from whom a huge stash of bomb-making material, weapons and a country-made rocket launcher have been seized, were planning to target political leaders and security and government installations.
NIA Inspector-General Alok Mittal said given the preparation of the module named ‘Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam’, which was active for the past four months and received instructions from an overseas handler via WhatsApp and Telegram mobile chat platforms, terror strikes in the National Capital Region were imminent.
The accused are between 20 and 35 years of age. Among those arrested terrorists was alleged team head Mufti Mohammed Suhail, a teacher at a madrasa in Amroha and a resident of northeast Delhi’s Jaffrabad. He had roped in the others and motivated them to raise funds and procure bomb-making items and weapons. It was a self-funded module, with the members raising money by selling the gold they had stolen from their houses, the agency said.
Mr. Mittal said simultaneous searches at 17 locations in Delhi’s Jaffrabad and Seelampur, besides Amroha, Hapur, Meerut and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh had led to seizure of about 25 kg of bomb-making, 12 pistols, 150 rounds of ammunition, a country-made rocket launcher, 112 alarm clocks, mobile phone circuits, batteries, 51 pipes and a remote-controlled car’s triggering switch. Steel containers, wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, three laptops, a knife and sword, IS-related literature and about ₹7.5 lakh in cash were also found.
The seizures indicated that plans were on to configure improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which included pipe bombs.
The agencies are trying to establish the identity of the module’s handler who interacted with the group members in multiple languages. Some more arrests are likely soon. The operation was carried out after the NIA registered a case against Suhail and others on December 20.