Lucknow/Mumbai: A major terror attack in the country was claimed to have been averted as 10 suspected ISIS activists were held on Thursday in a major multi-state operation. The joint operation was carried out by the police teams of Delhi, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh, in which four suspected terrorists belonging to the ISIS Khorasan module were arrested and six others were detained, officials said.
The arrests were made during raids this morning in Mumbra (Maharashtra), Jalandhar (Punjab), Narkatiaganj (Bihar), and Bijnor and Muzaffarnagar (both in Uttar Pradesh), the officials added. Inspector General of the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) Aseem Arun, in a statement in Noida, said that four persons were arrested on charges of hatching terror conspiracies. He said the accused were planning a major terror attack in the country. Important documents relating to the ISIS were seized from them, Arun claimed.
He said two persons Mufti Faizan and Tanveer, allegedly connected with the ISIS, were arrested from Bijnor district. Nazim Shamshad Ahmed (26), who hails from Bijnor, was nabbed from Mumbra township in Thane district adjoining Mumbai. Another suspect identified as Muzammil was arrested from Jalandhar district of Punjab. According to an UP ATS statement in Lucknow, six others were taken into custody and were being questioned in Noida, on the outskirts of Delhi. The accused had got in touch with each other over the internet, Arun said, adding that central security agencies played an important role in the operation. According to the IG, the UP ATS had seized some important documents after the March 7 encounter in Lucknow in which a suspected terrorist belonging to the Khorasan module was killed. Following this, the probe was expanded to five states. The ATS had received information that the ISIS had been expanding its network in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Bihar and some youths from these states had joined the terror organisation.
"All those arrested are in the age group of 18 to 25 years and were living in different places like Mumbai, Jalandhar and UP. We have also found that they were definitely influenced by the material available on the internet," UP ADG (Law and Order) Daljit Chaudhary said in Lucknow. Investigations show that one of them wanted to finance the group and they were continuously communicating with each other about carrying out some major strike in the near future. But police and other agencies of different states with the help of surveillance made the arrests before they could carry out any such attack, the ADG said.
A spokesperson of the UP ATS said those arrested were suspected to be looking for potential recruits in Bihar, UP and Maharashtra.