The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a man from Meerut for allegedly supplying weapons to the suspected Islamic State module busted by the agency last week. The man identified as Mohammed Nayeem is 21 years old and works as a welder in Gurgaon, agency sources said. The arrest was made late on Thursday evening.
“One of the arrested accused in the case is a distant relative of Nayeem. He asked Nayeem to help the group get some weapons. Nayeem knew some gunrunners from Istanpur, his village in Meerut, and got the group in touch with them,” an NIA officer said.
During its raids against the group on December 26, the NIA had claimed to have seized a huge cache of arms and explosives. These included 25 kg of explosive material, such as Potassium Nitrate, Ammonium Nitrate, Sulphur, Sugar material paste, 12 pistols, 150 rounds of live ammunition, one countrymade rocket launcher, 112 alarm clocks, mobile phone circuits, batteries, 51 pipes, a remote control car triggering switch, wireless digital doorbell for remote switch, steel containers, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, 134 SIM cards, three laptops, knife, sword, IS-related literature and cash worth Rs 7.5 lakh.
Among the 12 pistols, sources said, only eight are of “good quality” of which only four are factory-made. “Rest are desi katta (countrymade guns),” an NIA officer said. All these are suspected to have been supplied by Nayeem.
Also recovered was a video with visuals of an IED. According to NIA, Mufti Suhail, the 29-year-old Islamic preacher who led the group, is heard explaining intricacies of an IED in the video. “The group had learnt to assemble an IED through online literature and videos,” an NIA investigator said.
Officially, the NIA has maintained that the group had plans to target “vital installations and important personalities which included politicians”.
Interestingly, while being interrogated by Delhi police, the members of the group have said Delhi Police headquarters was one of its targets, and in NIA custody, they have said the NIA headquarters was among the targets, sources said.
The agency, on December 26, arrested 10 people from Delhi’s Jaffarabad and UP’s Amroha for allegedly being part of a group called Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam. The agency alleged that the group owed allegiance to the Islamic State and was being handled by an online entity by the name of Abu Malik Peshawari.