A network reportedly connected to the Islamic State and planning to carry out simultaneous bomb blasts across the country was busted by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) on Friday.
While four persons were picked up from Hyderabad in Telangana, several more were detained from Rajasthan and Karnataka in raids conducted on Thursday night. Members of the network, which decided to carry out terror attacks at public places, planned to make Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) on their own.
The NIA drive is said to be spread pan-India including Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Hyderabad, sources added.
Explosive substances were seized from Nafeez of Tolichowki in Hyderabad. He was among the four picked up by NIA with the help of local intelligence officials here.
The network was formed by associates of some persons involved in terror activities like Farahtullah Ghori from Telangana. Some of them are reportedly operating from abroad, say the police.
They formed the network and planned to strike on the eve of Republic Day. The NIA registered a case at Delhi and conducted raids at different places including Bengaluru on Thursday night.
Six arrested in Karnataka
Six more youths were picked up from Karnatana – four from Bengaluru, and one each from Mangaluru and Tumakuru.
The four youths — Syed Asif, Mohammed Afzal, Faizal and Mujahid — were picked up for their suspected links to Islamic State (IS) in a special operation that was carried out simultaneously in the three cities at around 2 am on Friday morning.
A senior police official confirmed the NIA operation in the three cities in the state and said that the four picked up were known to each other and were working in tandem.
Their online activity is said to have been monitored for nearly six months now and no credible information is available as to what triggered the intervention of security forces at this juncture.
Bengaluru police sources said that they also wanted to interrogate the suspects to see if there is any connection to the IS linked threat letter to the French Consulate in the city.
Terror suspect from Tumakuru, Syed Mujahid Hussain (33) is a wholesale fruit merchant. Syed Mujahid Hussain is the only son of Syed Hussain, a retired assistant tahsildar and a retired school teacher of Poor House colony in Tumakuru city. His father claimed that his son is innocent.
He also accused the NIA of searching their house without a search warrant. He alleged that they seized four Qurans, photographs, photo albums, news papers, four mobile phones and Rs.3 33 lakh in cash.
Mangaluru suspect a diploma holder
The suspect picked from Mangaluru is 25-year-old diploma holder.
Sources in the police told The Hindu that Najmul Huda was secured from his residence in Permude village, near Bajpe, within Mangaluru police commissionerate limits.
Huda, son of a Moulvi in the local mosque, had completed diploma in polymer technology from government Karnataka Polytechnic in Mangaluru. Though he joined RV College of Engineering, Bengaluru, to pursue BE in chemical engineering, he left the course halfway and came back to Mangaluru, sources said.
The NIA personnel were completing certain formalities and preliminary inquiry is on in Mangaluru.