Hyderabad/New Delhi: A day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) busted an alleged Islamic State (IS) terror module in Hyderabad by arresting five suspected sympathisers and detaining six others, a report on Thursday revealed shocking details.
A report in Aaj Tak quoted NIA officials as saying that those arrested had planned to incite communal violence during the ongoing holy month of Ramadan.
The ‘IS sympathisers’ had planned to place cow and buffalo meat at the Bhagyalakshmi temple at the base of the iconic Charminar with an aim to trigger communal violence.
One airgun, two .9 mm pistols, nails, two airgun target boards and other material like chemicals used for making explosives and Improvised Explosive Devises (IEDs) were seized during the raids. Cash totalling Rs 15 lakh, 23 mobile phones, three laptops and seven pen drives were also seized.
According to a report in The Times of India, the agencies intercepted a telephonic conversation on June 25 evening that prompted them to pounce on the suspects — aged between 20 and 42.
They were supposedly planning something ‘big’ in the next few days.
The daily quoted an NIA source as saying that in the conversation, a suspect asked the person on the other line to “bring four pieces of cow meat and four pieces of buffalo meat that day and seven pieces of cow meat the next day”.
“This was the clincher for us to pick up the module. Our assessment is that the IS-inspired youths, who were in touch with a Syria-based handler identified as ‘Amir’ but suspected to be Shafi Armar alias Yousuf al Hindi, were planning to carry out bomb blasts to target VVIPs and crowded places like malls and shopping centres, including around Charminar, while also planting beef at nearby temples. A possible target was Bhagyalakshmi temple,” said an NIA officer.
The ‘IS sympathisers’ arrested during raids across the city were Mohammed alias Yazdani, 24; his brother Mohammed Ibrahim, 29, of Aman Nagar; Habib Mohammed, 32, of Barkas; Mohammed Irfan alias Yaqais, 26, of Chatta Bazaar; and Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Amoodi alias Fahad, 30, of Charminar.
The arrested accused will be presented before special NIA court in Nampally (Hyderabad) today.
Meanwhile, the NIA will start a probe today against six suspected Islamic State terror group members, who were detained on Wednesday in Hyderabad, an official said.
Syed Naimath Ullah Hussaini, 42, of Moghalpura; Muzaffar Hussain Rizwan, 29, of Talab Katta; Mohammed Ataullah Rehman, 30, of Bandlaguda; Abdul, 32, of Yusuf Gulshan colony; AM Azhar, 20 of Talab Katta; and Mohammed Arbaz Ahmed, 21, of Chandrayan Gutta were detained on Wednesday and were later released late night.
“The six detained persons were released and summoned again today (Thursday) afternoon for further examination. Their role is being scrutinised,” the NIA official told news agency IANS.
The suspects were caught by various NIA teams which conducted raids at 10 locations across the city early Wednesday morning in coordination with the Andhra Pradesh Police.
The sources said most of the places raided fall within the jurisdiction of Moghulpura, Meer Chowk and Bhawani Nagar police stations of Hyderabad.
The NIA said the suspects included five persons against whom the anti-terror agency had registered a First Information Report on June 22 with regard to an emerging fundamentalist group affiliated to the IS.
Some of the arrested youth were practicing with airguns in Bandlaguda and Chandrayangutta areas, the NIA source said.
An NIA official said Mohammed Ibrahim and Habib Mohammed were identified as the main suspects. Ibrahim, through his Facebook accounts, was allegedly trying to recruit youth for the IS by using the Internet and other modes of communication.
On the other hand, the parents of the arrested youth reached the NIA office in Begumpet and claimed their innocence. They also demanded a meeting with the detained suspects.