10 men, part of ISIS-inspired terror module, sent to 12 days NIA custody

A Delhi court on Thursday sent 10 people, arrested on Wednesday for alleged links with an ISIS module, to National Investigation Agency (NIA) custody for 12 days.

They were produced in the court of Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Pandey amid tight security with faces covered. The judge had ordered in-camera proceedings in the case.

The NIA arrested the suspects from Delhi, Amroha, Lucknow and Meerut after carrying out searches at 17 locations across the Capital and Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday morning, after tracking the group for at least four months. They also seized a huge quantity of arms, including 12 pistols and a country-made rocket launcher, among other things.

The agency said the busted terror cell in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh was purportedly planning attacks on senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders, and in crowded markets, perhaps even as early as by the New Year. The agency said a pro-Islamic State (IS) terror group, Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam, was behind the planning.

Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam was probably put together by a planner from Afghanistan, said a senior security official who spoke on condition of anonymity. According to him, this person coordinated their training sessions and also helped with funds.

The local leader of the group has been identified as Mufti Mohammed Suhail, a native of the Jafarabad area of north-east Delhi who is currently a cleric in a mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha.

NIA investigators are probing whether the group planned to target the Republic Day parade as well. The agency has thus far managed to identify 16 members of the group. A 45-year old woman from Lucknow and her son are suspected of funding and managing the finances of the group.

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