With the arrest of two local men in their 20s, Mumbai has escaped another big terror attack, planned yet again by a Pakistan-based outfit, the police said on Sunday. On the terror radar
Abdul Latif alias Guddu (29) and Riyaz Ali alias Rehan (23) were arrested by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for planning attacks on markets, government offices and nuclear installations in the city.
Altogether, four terror suspects were arrested across India this weekend. The other arrests were that of a Hizbul Mujahideen operative in Gujarat and the chief of a terrorist group, Kanglei Yawol Kunna Lup, in Manipur.
“This weekend we had three major successes,” said Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai.
No links have been established between the three arrests.
In Mumbai, the duo was picked up late on Saturday. ATS chief K.P. Raghuvanshi said Abdul is married to Riyaz’s sister. “Both are from lower-middle class families and did odd jobs. They aren’t very educated but can operate computers.”
The arrests come a week after the state issued a terror alert.
“They were told to go to Pakistan after carrying out one major strike in Mumbai,” Raghuvanshi said, adding that they had a handler in Pakistan.
Refusing to name the group they were working for, the ATS chief said: “There are more people involved so I can’t disclose more, but we have prevented a major strike.”
Sources said the men had maps of Sewri (a suburb), Nhava Sheva and the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. “They were planning to attack the Oil & Natural Gas Corporation headquarters in Bandra, Mangaldas market and Thakkar Mall in Borivli,” Raghuvanshi said.
“They were planning to set fire to Mangaldas market and bomb ONGC,” said an official, requesting anonymity.
Gujarat terror scout
In Gujarat, Bashir Ahmed Baba (32) was also arrested late on Saturday. The Hizbul Mujahideen operative was setting up base in the state and allegedly recruiting youngsters.