In a latest statement given by NIA Inspector General, Alok Mittal had seized 135 mobile phone SIM cards as well as over 100 alarm clocks and over 25 kg of chemicals. As per the intelligence gained, the material seized was to be used in string of terror attacks planned on New Year’s eve.
As reports suggest, the attacks aimed were targeted on politicians, key locations and crowded places. The raid that was launched on 17 locations across Meerut, Lucknow, Hapur, Amroha and Seelampur, in connection with its probe into a new Islamic State-inspired module led to arrest of 10 terror suspects.
The strategic raid in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh is considered to be an important step towards preventing terror attacks and strengthening security, but at the same time raises various concerns about the extent of how the ISIS ideology is sweeping through the religious contours of India.
Going by the statement given by Mittal, the simultaneous searches at 17 places in UP and Delhi were executed in sync with local anti-terror squads. This points out that the religiously sensitive locations in North India such as UP and Delhi are affected with the malicious ISIS ideology or youngsters in the region are consistently radicalised by active terror agents.
Further, the seized material including large quantity of explosives and weapons confirms what Mittal said “They weren’t just making some bombs but a large number of bombs.”
As per the senior officer, the team seized 134 mobile phone SIM cards, as well as 112 alarm clocks and over 25 kg of chemicals that were to be used to make scores of remote-controlled bombs. It also included a rocket launcher that the group had fabricated and 13 pistols. The seized ammunition further clarifies that the attack was not a naive or impulsive attempt but an organised one that was certainly well funded and supported.
The outcome of the investigation further framed that the module was planned by Mufti Suhail, who worked in a mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Amroha district.
Though the senior NIA official clarified that “It was a self-financed operation. They stole gold ornaments from their homes and sold it to fund their activities…,” the plausibility of it being a small part of a larger operation cannot be ruled out. As stated by security forces “there is a handler who was guiding them, who appears to be based in a foreign country.”
As per the ongoing investigation, 16 people have been detained for questioning and 10 people have been arrested so far.
This operation has certainly raised an alarm about the status of ISIS-driven rising terror groups in the country and their support system, raising various concerns for Ministry of Home Affairs on countering such influences.