A day after arresting an alleged Islamic State operative, the Delhi Police Special Cell said they had recovered a substantial quantity of explosives and an ISIS flag from his house in Uttar Pradesh’s Balrampur.
Mustakeem Khan (36), alias Abu Yusuf , was arrested following a late-night exchange of fire in Central Delhi’s Ridge Road area on Friday. Police said they had recovered a pistol and two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) packed in pressure cookers from his possession.
A team of Special Cell’s New Delhi Range took Khan to his village, Badhiyaa Bhaisaahi, where he runs a cosmetic shop. “A brown jacket containing three explosive packets and a blue jacket containing four explosive packets, which were removed safely, were found. Each packet was wrapped with transparent tape, and contained explosives and ball bearings, with electric wires coming outside of it,” DCP (Special Cell) P S Kushwah said.
Police have said Khan planned to carry out a “lone wolf” attack at a heavy footfall area in the national capital. “An ISIS flag, a leather belt containing around 3 kg of explosives, 8-9 kg explosives in four different polythenes, three cylindrical metal boxes containing explosives and electric wires wrapped with transparent tape, and two cylindrical metal boxes in which ball bearings were pasted were recovered from his house,” he said.
Also among the recoveries are three lithium batteries, two mobile chargers and a table alarm watch attached with electric wires, Kushwah said.
Police have said Khan had planned a strike in the national capital on August 15, but could not do so due to heavy security arrangements.
According to police, Khan was first handled by Yusuf-al Hindi, the ISIS chief of India operations, who was killed in Syria in 2017. After that he was handled by Abu Huzaifa Al Bakistani, a resident of Pakistan, who was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan in July 2019.
Later, another handler instructed him to carry out strikes, the police official had said. He had tested a small IED near the burial ground in his village. After successful testing, he used the same method to make two pressure cooker IEDs.
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