The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Wednesday arrested nine persons including a 17-year-old boy and two brothers for alleged ISIS links. The ATS, which was keeping a close watch on the nine suspects, carried out search operations following a tip-off. Raids were conducted at five places including Mumbra, Thane and Aurangabad.
While four suspects were picked up from Aurangabad, five were caught in Mumbra.
According to ATS officials, “certain chemicals, mobile phones, hard drives, acid bottles, sharp knives and SIM cards were recovered from the nine arrested.”
The accused have been booked under Indian Penal Code’s Section 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and relevant provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Bombay Police Act, the official said.
The ATS is now investigating if the youths were working in the sleeper cells. A neighbour of one of those picked up said, “His mother had to be hospitalised after he was picked up around 3 am today.” Neighbours of the siblings picked up by the ATS said, “The brothers had returned from Bangalore on Sunday after attending a friend’s wedding.”
Last week, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested a 24-year-old man in the case of ISIS-inspired Harkut-ul-Harb-e-Islam module. On January 5, the NIA arrested a 21-year-old man for supplying weapons to the module.
On December 26, the agency conducted raids after carrying out searches in 17 locations, wherein it claimed to have seized a huge cache of arms and explosives. The recovered items included 25 kg explosive material, 150 rounds of live ammunition, 12 pistols, 112 alarm clocks, mobile phone circuits, remote control car triggering switch, electric wires, 91 mobile phones, three laptops, knife, 134 SIM cards, and Rs 7.5 lakh as cash.
The group allegedly had also purchased remote-controlled car bomb and wireless doorbells to use their circuits in assembling remote-controlled improvised explosive devices.