3 Pak-linked IS ultras’ terror attack plan foiled ahead of festivals

| Updated: 03 October, 2023 1:58 pm IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi Police Special Cell has arrested three engineers who were allegedly planning to execute terror attacks in the southern and western parts of the country. One of the arrested youths, who was radicalized by ISIS, was a wanted terrorist by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Mohd Shahnawaz Alam from Jharkhand, Mohd Ashraf Warsi from Delhi, and Lucknow resident Mohd Rizwan Ashraf were radicalized by ISIS and were in touch with Pakistan-based handlers. They also received funds and equipment from Pakistan to execute their plan.

Bomb-making materials, literature, and a firearm were recovered from the accused, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) HGS Dhaliwal said.

“Raids at multiple locations in Delhi, Dehradun, Aligarh, Lucknow, Moradabad, and Prayagraj led to the busting of this Pakistan ISI-sponsored module disguised as an ISIS module. The main aim of these suspects was to cause maximum casualties and to target dignitaries,” he said.

The Delhi Police Special Cell’s anti-terror unit and other security agencies have been surveilling the activities of suspected ISIS operatives and their contacts/sympathizers, with a special focus on Delhi-centric suspects, for the past few months.

While following leads obtained through credible sources and technical means, the police identified a module with footprints in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra.

While developing the information, two ISIS operatives, Imran Khan and Yunus Saaki, were arrested in Pune, Maharashtra, by Pune Police in July this year. However, one of the arrested persons, Shahnawaz Alam alias Abdullah, managed to escape from police custody.

The case was later transferred to the NIA for further investigation, who later declared a reward of Rs 3 lakhs for the arrest of absconding terrorist Shahnawaz Alam alias Abdullah alias Md. Ibrahim alias Prince and three other accused.

On October 1, on the basis of credible inputs, coordinated multiple raids were carried out in three states (Delhi, UP, and Uttarakhand) with the assistance of the Central Intelligence Agency and concerned state police. Md. Arshad Warsi was arrested from Delhi. He disclosed that he knew Shahnawaz Alam and that he was an accomplice in the conspiracy to carry out terrorist activities in Delhi and adjoining areas along with Shahnawaz and others.

He also revealed that Shahnawaz Alam had procured arms, ammunition, and explosives and had taken a rented room in Delhi in furtherance of their criminal conspiracy.

Subsequently, another associate, Mohammad Rizwan Ashraf, was arrested from Lucknow. He disclosed that he was a member of ISIS and was in communication with a foreign-based handler and remaining members of this module. He further told that Shahnawaz Alam and Rizwan took the pledge (‘Baith’) into ISIS through him.

Thereafter, a raid was conducted in Delhi on Warsi’s instance, and Shahnawaj Alam was arrested from a rented accommodation after a brief scuffle with the police team.

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