Maharashtra ATS arrests 'lone wolf' back from training in Pakistan

May 14, 2018, 11:46 IST | A Correspondent

He is allegedly said to have returned from Pakistan after undergoing arms training with knowledge of carrying out lone-wolf attacks

Representational Image
Representational Image

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) recently arrested a 32-year-old suspected terrorist in Mumbai. He is allegedly said to have returned from Pakistan after undergoing arms training with knowledge of carrying out lone-wolf attacks.

Officers said the Juhu unit of ATS received information that a terrorist trained in Pakistan in handling sophisticated weapons, making bombs and launching terror attacks had returned to the city. After preliminary inquiries, investigators detained the suspect, Meerza Faisal, from Behrambaug area of Jogeshwari with the help of Kolkata ATS and Mumbai Police officers.

Faisal allegedly revealed that he was called to Sharjah by Amir Raza Khan, one of the founders of Indian Mujahideen who is believed to have taken charge of the terror outfit after the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal by the National Investigating Agency. Officers said Faisal was then called to Karachi via Dubai on a fake passport.

During his stay in Karachi for more than three months, Faisal was allegedly trained in several tactics of carrying out terror activities, including lone-wolf attacks.

Investigation has revealed that Faisal, having gained Khan's trust, had become his right-hand man.

Based on his interrogation, ATS found that Faisal was suspected to have been planning to carry out attacks either on VVIPs or vital installations in Mumbai. He has been sent to police custody till May 21.

ATS chief Atulchandra Kulkarni said, "The threat of an unusual terror attack from across the border is real and alive, especially after the arrest of this person, who is believed to have undergone training there for carrying out such activities."

JEM chief Masood Azhar
JEM chief Masood Azhar

At the helm of it all
Amir Raza Khan is the chief of Indian Mujahideen and is suspected to be operating from Pakistan. He is the brother of Asif, who was killed by the Rajkot police while fleeing from their custody in December 2001. Asif, the police said, was the closest aide of Jaish-e Mohammad chief Maulana Masoor Azhar. Amir had roped in Riyaz Bhatkal and the other key members of the terror outfit to carry out strikes in different parts of the country.

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