Grabbing the major success in nabbing the alleged organisers of ISIS-inspired module, Harkat-ul-Herb-e-Islam, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) discovered 12 local made pistols, 100 mobile phones, 100 alarm clocks, 135 SIM cards and several laptops in it’s major raids over 17 locations in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Delhi on Wednesday. The NIA raided the locations with the help of Delhi police (Special Cell) and Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) of UP Police, and nabbed 10 persons with massive cache of arms and ammunition including a rocket launcher which was yet to be tested, live bullets, cash and other such weaponry commodities.
The agenda behind gathering such explosives and weapons was to target important installations, important places, important personalities and crowded places in Delhi. “Vital installations, important places, important personalities and crowded places were on their targets. The level of preparation suggests that they planned to do an attack at the earliest. They were focusing on remote control bombs as well as fidayeen attack,” said Alok Mittal, NIA Inspector General (IG), to the media after the raids, quoted ANI.
The NIA IG said that those involved in the procurement of the explosives have arranged the funds by themselves and do not have any criminal antecedents in any matter so far. “It was a self-funded group. They stole gold ornaments from their homes and sold it to fund their activities. So far, no criminal record of any arrested members of the module has surfaced. It looks like they were self-trained and self-motivated through internet,” Mittal was quoted saying by TOI. The briefing also highlighted foreign handlers who the accused were in regular touch, however, more insights will come out after a thorough investigation is conducted, IG affirmed. “This was an entirely new ISIS-inspired module in which they (accused) were in touch with some foreign-based handlers, exact location and identity of whom is yet to be established,” IG Mittal briefed media, quoted ANI.
The mastermind of Harkat-ul-Herb-e-Islam is claimed to be a 29-year old Muslim youth, Mohammed Sohail, hailing from Amroha of Western UP, who lives in Delhi currently. “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 in a mosque,” IG Mittal disclosed the information about the mastermind of the module in the briefing, quoted ANI. He is referred to as Mufti Sohail because of his profession in a mosque as a ‘Mufti’, Muslim legal expert empowered to deliver rulings on religious matter. Mittal added that as per the initial investigation, Sohail founded the ISIS-inspired terrorist module three-four months back where he gathered all his members to succeed on his propaganda. The members remained in touch through the data-based messaging apps like WhatsApp and Telegram.
Talking about the crucial bombing explosives recovered in the raids, Mittal enunerated a number of items recovered which included 25 kgs of bomb making ingredients like Potassium Nitrate, Potassium Chlorate, Sugar paste and sulphur. He also disclosed that around 7.5 lakh cash was recovered at the spot where the raid was conducted. The group was planning fidayeen attack as well, for which they had created bullet-proof fidayeen vest, which was recovered from Amroha.
Mittal added that more insights of the group’s plan, agenda, procurement strategy and handlers will come out after the accused are thoroughly investigated.