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Police HQ, RSS office among targets: Cops

NIA said the five suspects, along with five more nabbed from different parts of western UP, had been planning terror strike in the national Capital.

delhi Updated: Dec 27, 2018 13:04 IST
Anvit Srivastava
Anvit Srivastava
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
National Investigation Agency,bombs,Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam
A major ISIS-inspired terror module preparing to launch a string of terror attacks targeting politicians, key locations and crowded places has been busted, the National Investigation Agency said hours after raids in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. The raids are still continuing, senior NIA officer Alok Mittal said, announcing the arrest of 10 terror suspects.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

At 4am on Wednesday, five teams of Delhi Police’s antiterror unit, special cell, a team of SWAT commandos, sleuths of Intelligence Bureau and policemen from the local police station accompanied members of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to launch an over 10-hourlong operation in the labyrinthine streets of northeast Delhi’s Jafrabad area.

By the time the operation got over, the NIA had arrested five people from the area and seized a variety of explosives and material used in making bombs. The five, NIA said, are members of a pro-Islamic State (IS) terror group, Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam.

Police said the questioning of the arrested suspects has revealed that they were planning to target the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh office in Jhandewalan and the Delhi Police headquarters. “Offices of the security forces, VIP dignitaries, crowded market places and political leaders were also on the group’s target,” the police officer said.

Alok Mittal, inspector general, NIA said the men arrested from Delhi are Anas Yunus, 24, a civil engineering student of Amity University, Noida, Zaid Malik, 22, his brother Zubair Malik, 20, a student of BA final year of Bhim Rao Ambedkar College of Delhi University and Rashid Zafar Raq, 23, who runs a garments business.

One Mohammad Azam, 35, who runs a chemist shop in Seeltrial ampur and lives in the adjacent Chauhan Bangar, was also arrested.

The first raid was conducted at a four-storey house, located about 100 metres away from the Jafrabad police station. Anas was arrested from the house and the sleuths seized a countrymade rocket launcher and pistols besides chemicals and material to make bombs. NIA Inspector General Alok Mittal said, “A rocket launcher, seven countrymade pistols, live bullets, Jihadi literature, alarm clocks and batteries used for making time bombs, several mobile phones, SIM cards and tiffin boxes to store explosives were recovered from his house.”

NIA said the five suspects, along with five more nabbed from different parts of western UP, had been planning terror strike in the national Capital.

The NIA also released a video in which, the officers claimed, the voice of Mufti Suhail — the mastermind of the module — can be heard. Suhail was arrested from Amroha in UP. In the video, Suhail is allegedly teaching how to make a remote bomb circuit. A of triggering a sample remote bomb can also be seen in the video. The video was allegedly recovered from the mobile phones of one of the five suspects arrested from Jafrabad.

A special cell officer, requesting anonymity, said while searching Anas’s house, they found a few bags hidden behind two wheelers parked on the ground floor.

“The bags contained explosives, arms and devices used in making bombs. Anas was immediately taken into custody. He was questioned and he revealed the involvement of his associates in Delhi. His aides were picked up from the neighbouring areas,” said the officer, who participated in the raid.

IG Mittal said while Zafar Raq and Mohammad Azam helped Mufti Suhail, Raq had been procuring electrical devices for bombs.The Malik brothers had stolen gold jewellery from their house and sold it for ₹7 lakh. They gave this money to Sohail for funding the module’s operations, Mittal said.

Police said that seized material reminded them of Abdul Karim Tunda, the alleged bomb maker of Lashkar-e-Taiba arrested by the Delhi Police in 2013. Officers said Tunda used similar metal casings and sockets in making bombs.

Sarfaraz, a resident of Jafrabad, said he had never before seen such a large police force in the area.“Initially, we were thought there has been some terror attack. We later learnt that the police went to a few houses and picked up five men,” he said.

First Published: Dec 27, 2018 13:04 IST