The police seized 25-30 kg of explosives from ISIS operative Abu Yusuf that he intended to use in a high footfall area in the national capital, Delhi police said on Sunday.
"When the ISIS suspect Abu Yusuf was caught, we had recovered two pressure-cooker bombs (IEDs) and a pistol with cartridges from his possession. Subsequently when we took him on police remand for eight days and raided his village, we recovered two explosive jackets, one explosive belt, 9 kg of raw explosives, ball bearings, seven cylindrical boxes, board for target practice, timers and batteries. The total recovery of explosives weighed around 25-30 kg," DCP Special Cell Pramod Kushwaha told .
He said the ISIS operative had a plan to put the IEDs in a heavy footfall area of the national capital.
"He planned to put the IEDs in a heavy footfall area in Delhi and then do a fidayeen attack after getting instructions from his handlers. His handler was an ISKP operative," DCP Kushwaha said.
According to sources, the suspected ISIS operative planned to execute a terror attack in New Delhi on August 15. But due to high security, he was not able to do so. Sources also indicated that Ayodhya was also on his target where he intended to carry out a fidayeen attack.
Yesterday, the special cell had arrested the ISIS terrorist Yusuf carrying two pressure cooker-based IEDs after a brief exchange of fire and averted a major terror strike in the national capital.
According to the police on Saturday, the accused was identified as Mohd Mustakim Khan (36) aka Abu Yusuf Khan aka Yusuf Khan, a resident of village Badhiyaa Bhaisaahi, Utraula in Uttar Pradesh.
Police said, "The lone-wolf attacker was carrying two pressure cooker-based IEDs while riding a white Apache motorcycle. The accused had planned to plant IEDs on and around August 15, 2020, but could not do so due to tight security arrangements in Delhi."
The police said that on monitoring and surveillance, it came to notice that one highly radicalised individual who goes by the code name Yusuf Khan has prepared many IEDs including suicide vests and belts. All the sources and staff were briefed and sensitised.
Police developed this information further and learned that Yusuf Khan would launch a lone-wolf attack in some heavy footfall area of Delhi.
The vigil was mounted and information was further developed. This input was developed through sources and physical surveillance was mounted in which movements of certain suspected individuals were closely and discreetly monitored.
An advance team led by Inspector Sunil Rajain was also sent to Uttar Pradesh to track the suspect, On August 22, specific information was received through the advance team that lone wolf terrorist Yusuf Khan has left for Delhi and will be moving towards Karol Bagh from Dhaula Kuan.
"As per information, immediately a trap was laid near Dhaula Kuan and Ridge road. The team acted swiftly and apprehended terrorist Mohd Mustakim Khan aka Abu Yusuf Khan from the spot after a brief exchange of fire in the late-night hours," police said.
According to the information, the accused came in contact with Yusuf Al Hindi (Believed to be killed in a drone attack in Syria in 2017) ISIS chief of India operations who admitted him to the ranks of ISIS. He was indoctrinated and radicalised by Yusuf Al Hindi.
After the killing of Yusuf Al Hindi, the ID of the accused was passed on to Abu Huzaifa Al Bakist, resident of Pakistan (Believed to be killed in Drone attack in Khurasan in July'19) the then Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) chief of India operations).
Abu Huzaifa Al Bakist taught him how to prepare IEDs with timer mechsm, suicide vests and suicide belt.
Accused even tested a small IED near his village's cemetery and after the successful testing, he made two pressure cooker IEDs with the same mechsm.
After the killing of Abu Huzaifa Al Bakist, his ID was given to the present ISKP Chief of India operations. This foreign-based handler prepared him to initiate jihad in India. Accused was more inclined to be an Istishhadi warrior of ISIS by doing fidayeen attacks but his foreign-based handler asked him to first execute a lone wolf attack by planting IEDs in high footfall areas of Delhi and then he was to be given permission from ISIS Jimmedaar to do fidayeen attack, according to the police.
The lone-wolf attacks by ISIS have happened in Europe and they wanted to start this trend in India as chances of getting exposed in lone-wolf attacks is far less as compared to working in a group or module.
( With inputs from ANI )
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