The NIA is likely to clear four of the 11 suspects questioned for allegedly being a part of an Islamic State-influenced group in Hyderabad that wanted to carry out terror attacks in the city.
According to the National Investigation Agency, the group of IS-inspired men allegedly managed to successfully test an improvised explosive device (IED) and intended to use it for carrying serial blasts in the city. They also wanted to throw beef outside city temples to incite communal violence.
The federal anti-terror agency named five of the suspects - Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani alias Ibbu, Habeeb Mohammed, Ibrahim Yazdani’s younger brother Ilyas, Abdulla Amoodi and Muzaffar Hussain Rizwan - in its FIR and they were arrested on June 29.
Rest of the six suspects were questioned for around two weeks, following which the agency decided to arrest two of them - Mohammed Ataullah Rehman and Naimatullah Hussaini on Tuesday.
Ataullah, 32, holds a masters degree in English and teaches it as well. According to the NIA, he was allegedly involved in radicalising the group and administered an oath of allegiance to IS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi to the rest of the members.
The second arrested accused Naimatullah contributed money to the fund that the group allegedly raised for its terror activities.
“But we did not find any evidence against the rest of the four boys - Abdul Qader Mohsin Mahmood, Mohammad Irfan, Mohammed Azhar and Mohammed Arbaz Ahmed - who were also questioned. They knew the arrested accused but we have come to the conclusion that they were not part of any terror conspiracy,” a senior NIA official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said.
“They are no longer required for questioning in the case,” he added.
The detention and arrest of the 11 alleged IS sympathisers were the culmination of more than a six-month long operation in which they were kept under watch by security agencies.
The agency recovered Rs 15 lakh in cash, two Chinese 9MM pistols, an airgun and high-grade explosive in huge quantity during the searches last month.