Five alleged recruits of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS) from Parbhani had conducted a recce of the police headquarters at Aurangabad and the home of a senior police official and planned to strike at both places, according to a charge sheet filed by Maharashtra’s anti-terrorism squad in the first week of October.
The alleged ‘Parbhani module’ of ISIS includes arrested suspects Naseen Bin alias Chaus, Shahid Khan, Iqbal Ahmed Kabir Ahmed and Raisuddin Siddique, and a fifth accused, an alleged ISIS handler who has not yet been traced.
The charge sheet, of which HT has a copy, states that the suspects made bombs using information from websites sent to them by foreign ISIS handlers. A source said the recce was conducted by Shahid Khan, who was carrying explosives at the time.
The source added that most of these revelations came from the questioning of Raisuddin Siddique, a teacher from Hingoli and the alleged commander of the module. He was the fourth person arrested in the case.
Investigators have learnt that a handler named Farooq sent Siddique a few links that helped him prepare a bomb. According to the charge sheet Chaus, Khan and others prepared a low-intensity improvised explosive device (IED) using a potent mix of matchstick powder, sulphur, charcoal, urea and potassium nitrate, with shrapnel embedded in it to cause extra damage. This IED was recovered from Shahid’s ancestral home, where his grandmother lives.
According to the ATS, the bomb was assembled at Iqbal Ahmed Kabir Ahmed’s home, and men wanted to carry out attacks to avenge the death of alleged SIMI operative Khalil Qureshi, 20, who was killed in an encounter by the Aurangabad ATS in April 2012.
According to a source, the first attack was to be carried out by Shahid; if he was unsuccessful then Iqbal would attempt to do so. According to the case registered by the agency, Chaus had also obtained material to prepare bombs from a local market.
An ATS source said the suspects met at Mumtaznagar, Parbhani, to choose specific targets and plan the attacks. However, they were arrested before they could execute their plans.
The ATS charge sheet also relies on call records to show their links with each other and to show they attended a meeting to discuss the attacks.