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NIA arrests 10 after busting ISIS-like module, says they wanted to target politicians, important personalities

Mittal Said That Searches Have Been Conducted In Delhi’s Seelampur And UP’s Amroha, Hapur, Meerut And Lucknow, And “a Large Quantities Of Explosive Material, Weapons And Ammunition, Including A Country-made Rocket Launcher Have Been Recovered'.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Aniruddha Dhar | Updated on: 26 Dec 2018, 05:59:54 PM

New Delhi:

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday arrested 10 people in connection with a new ISIS-like module after conducting searches across 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi. The fairly-new group has been identified as 'Harkat ul Harb e Islam’. “Their targets were political persons and other important personalities and vital and security intallations,” said Alok Mittal, inspector general of NIA, at a press conference, adding that a large quantity of explosive material, weapons and ammunition have been recovered from them so far.   

Mittal said that searches have been conducted in Delhi’s Seelampur and UP’s Amroha, Hapur, Meerut and Lucknow, and “a large quantities of explosive material, weapons and ammunition, including a country-made rocket launcher have been recovered”.

“The total amount of Rs 7.5 lakh recovered, nearly 100 mobile phones, 135 SIM cards, laptops and memory have been also seized. Some of the searches are still underway. After initial interrogation of the 16 suspects, we have decided to arrest 10 accused.

The officer added the level of preparation suggests their aim was to carry out explosions in near future by remote control blasts and fidayeen attacks. This is a new ISIS-inspired module, they were in touch with a foreign agent. Identities are yet to be established.

(The weapons recovered in the search operation. News Nation photo)  

Of the 10 persons arrested by the anti-terror probe agency, five were picked up from the western Uttar Pradesh district of Amroha following a joint operation with the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad, Inspector General ATS Asim Arun said in Lucknow earlier in the day.

Also Read | NIA raids 16 locations across Delhi, UP, ISIS-like network unearthed 

Five more were arrested from north-east Delhi with the help of Delhi Police's Special Cell, officials said.

Those involved include a civil engineer studying at the Amity University, a maulvi, an undergraduate student and an auto driver.

"The gang leader of the module is called Mufti Sohail who stays in Delhi and is a native of Amroha in UP where he works at a mosque," he said.

Last year, the NIA had arrested more than 100 ISIS sympathisers across the country. Maximum people were arrested from Uttar Pradesh.

This year, till March, the NIA had registered 19 cases in connection with the ISIS-styled activities.

The central probe agency had filed chargesheets in eleven of these cases, Minister of State for Home Hansraj G Ahir had told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

"The NIA has registered 19 cases related to ISIS/IS and out of these, charge sheets have been filed in 11 cases.

"Two of these cases relate to missing of 22 persons from Kerala and their subsequent travel to ISIS-controlled territory in Afghanistan," he had said. Ahir had also said that the central and state agencies are "monitoring the cyberspace which is being used to radicalise and recruit persons by ISIS and the law enforcement agencies take action as per law."

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh has maintained that India has the largest Muslim population in the world but ISIS had been unable to establish itself in the country.

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First Published : 26 Dec 2018, 05:21:21 PM