The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Wednesday arrested 10 people after they conducted searches at 17 locations across Meerut, Lucknow, Hapur, Amroha and Seelampur in connection with its probe into a new Islamic State-inspired module, ‘Harkat ul Harb e Islam’. The group was under NIA surveillance for some time, officials said.
NIA IG Alok Mittal said a rocket launcher, several weapons and a cache of ammunition were recovered from the spots. He further said the group planned to target vital installations and politicians.
“Recovery includes a rocket launcher, several weapons, ammunition and explosives. They were at an advanced stage of carrying a series of blasts,” Mittal said. The NIA has identified Mufti Sohail, a Maulvi of Amroha mosque, as the chief of the IS-inspired module.
The module was in touch with foreign handlers, whose identity is yet to be established. Mittal further said the level of preparation showed they were planning fidayeen-style attacks.
“The main gang leader is Mufti Sohail, a Maulvi of an Amroha mosque. The group has a handler in a foreign country. They planned to target vital installations and important people, including politicians. They wanted to explode remote-controlled bombs and even conduct fidayeen attacks. They even tried. making a bulletproof jacket,” the NIA IG said.
Of the 10 people held 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. Five more were detained from north-east Delhi with the help of Delhi Police’s Special Cell, officials said.
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