An ISIS-inspired terror cell in India, which was planning major suicide attacks on VIPs and at public places such as in New Delhi, has been busted, according to reports.
NDTV said 10 suspects were arrested by the country’s premier investigation agency NIA today.
The NIA said its men recovered a country-made rocket launcher during raids in Delhi.
Twelve pistols, 25 kg of chemicals which would have been used to make explosives, bulletproof vest, over 100 alarm clocks which can be used to make timers in bombs, more than 100 mobile phones – used as remote detonation devices – and 135 SIM cards were also seized during the raids at 17 different locations in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.
According to the report, the suspects were planning to attack the police headquarters in Delhi, among other places on Republic Day.
Among those arrested are the alleged mastermind of ‘Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam’, a cleric who stayed in Delhi, a civil engineer, college student and a welding expert.
“The gang leader of the module is called Mufti Sohail who stays in Delhi and is a native of Amroha in UP where he works at a mosque…Their targets were political persons and other important personalities and vital and security installations,” said NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal.
The NIA in a press briefing said this terror module had been operating for the last four months and was planning suicide attacks and remote controlled bomb blasts.
“Searches have been conducted in Delhi’s Seelampur and UP’s Amroha, Hapur, Meerut and Lucknow. Large quantities of explosive material, weapons and ammunition including a country made rocket launcher have been recovered so far,” Mr Mittal said in his press briefing this evening.
A video of a bomb being made was also seized during the searches.
The module was in touch with foreign handlers, whose identities are yet to be established, he added. The suspects used to communicate on messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.
“Level of preparation suggests their aim was to carry out explosions in near future by remote control blasts amd fidayeen attacks. This is a new ISIS inspired module, they were in touch with a foreign agent. Identities are yet to be established,” he said.