In a crackdown on an ISIS-inspired module, called Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested ten persons on Wednesday and claimed to have foiled attempts to carry out a series of blasts in and around the national capital.
NIA Inspector General of Police Alok Mittal told media persons that Mufti Mohammad Suhail, who was working as a ‘mufti’ in a madrasa on Hakim Mahtab Uddin Hashmi Road of Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, was the mastermind of the module.
“Recovery includes a rocket launcher, several weapons, ammunition and explosives. They were at an advanced stage of carrying a series of blasts,” Mittal said. The NIA has identified Mufti Sohail, a Maulvi of Amroha mosque, as the chief of the IS-inspired module.
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“The main gang leader is Mufti Sohail, a Maulvi of an Amroha mosque. The group has a handler in a foreign country. They planned to target vital installations and important people, including politicians. They wanted to explode remote-controlled bombs and even conduct fidayeen attacks. They even tried. making a bulletproof jacket,” the NIA IG said.
Of the ten rounded up, Saqib Iftekar had helped Suhail procure weapons, said Mittal. Iftekar, a resident of Simbhaoli in Hapur district of UP, was ‘imam’ at the Jama Masjid in Baksar, UP.
The agency said that the module was at an advanced stage of bombmaking as sleuths during raids at 17 places – six at Jaffrabad in Seelampur of East Delhi and rest in Lucknow, Amroha, Hapur and Meerut districts of UP – seized 25 kg of explosives, a country-made rocket launcher, 12 pistols and 112 clocks to work as timers.
Other than that, 150 rounds of live ammunition, mobile phone circuits, batteries, 51pipes, 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 of about Rs 7.5 lakh were recovered.