The brother of one of the five suspects arrested from Hyderabad for allegedly planning terror strikes in the city told The Hindu that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials took away only “paint remover” from their house.
The officials had claimed it was similar to explosive material used by the bombers in Brussels and Paris. NIA arrested five men from Hyderabad on June 29 for allegedly planning to carry out the strikes on the directions of a Syria-based handler of Islamic State (IS).
“My brother was getting ready to open a hydro graphics (water transfer painting process) workshop in the next two weeks. The workshop is in the same building where we live. He had bought paint removers, which NIA says are liquid explosives. They also took away drums of paint,” said the younger brother of Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Amoodi alias Fahad, who was arrested with four others on Wednesday.
The younger brother did not wish to be identified fearing boycott at work.
“During the search, chemicals suspected to be urea/ammonium nitrate powder and their mixture with sugar, as well as bottles containing mineral acid, acetone, hydrogen peroxide which are precursor substances for making deadly explosive substances were recovered,” a statement issued by the NIA had said.
He said Fahad, a bachelor in business administration had worked in Qatar till four years ago for a tour and travel company. He is married and has three daughters.
“He was never an overtly religious person. He hardly offered namaaz five times a day. He was excited about this workshop and was in the process of registering it,” said the brother. The brother said that Fahad did not know Mohammad Ibrahim Yazdani, the alleged leader of the module.
“He doesn’t know Ibrahim Yazdani, one of the other persons arrested by NIA- Habeeb Mohammad is Fahad’s brother-in-law. This is the only link they have,” said the brother.
NIA arrested Yazdani and his younger brother Ilyas for being part of the alleged terror module.
Mohammad Parvez Qadri, the brother-in-law of Yazdani brothers said that the NIA’s claim that Rs 15 lakh was recovered from the house was a false information as the money belonged to Ibrahim’s father-in-law who is into leather business.
He explained that Ibrahim was a distributor of mobile phone covers for customers who ordering it on Amazon.in. He said Ibrahim has a two-year-old son and has been married for the past six years.
On his Facebook page, Ilyas Yazdani, who works for an online portal introduces him as “I am nothing but a slave of Almighty Allah and I am proud of it.” He has also shared many YouTube videos of Pakistani religious singer Hafiz Tahir Qadri.
When contacted, a senior NIA official said that they had forensic evidence that the chemicals were “precursor materials to make explosives.”
“The court has granted 12 days custody of the accused and we would interrogate them now,” said the NIA official.
The other accused Habeeb Mohammad also posted several religious messages on his Facebook page. On July 11, 2014, he shared the picture of IS flag, and its description read as “Khilafath (Khalifa Abubakr Al-Baghdadi)”. NIA has claimed that it was Mohammad, who was tasked to assemble the explosives. A school dropout, Mohammad describes himself as a “system administrator” who formerly worked at a mosque as a khadim (servant).