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Delhi Police Recover Large Quantity of Explosives, Suicide Vest from ISIS Operative's House in UP

Representative photo: Reuters

Representative photo: Reuters

Alleged ISIS operative, Mohammad Mustakim Khan, armed with two pressure cooker IEDs, was arrested from central Delhi's Ridge Road area on Friday night following a brief exchange of fire.

The Delhi Police has recovered a large quantity of explosives and an ISIS flag from the house of Mohammad Mustakim Khan in Balrampur in Uttar Pradesh two days after he was arrested in the national capital, officials said on Sunday.

An alleged ISIS operative, Khan, armed with two pressure cooker IEDs, was arrested from central Delhi's Ridge Road area on Friday night following a brief exchange of fire.

A Delhi Police Special Cell team took him to his Badhiyaa Bhaisaahi village in Uttar Pradesh's Balrampur district.

One brown jacket containing three explosive packets and another blue check jacket containing four explosive packets were recovered from his house, a senior police officer said.

"Each explosive packet, removed from jackets, was wrapped with transparent tape which contains explosive and cardboard sheet pasted with ball bearings and electric wires were coming outside from it," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) P S Kushwah said.

Khan had planned to carry out a "lone wolf" strike at a heavy footfall area in the national capital.

"One ISIS flag, one leather belt containing around three kilogram explosive, eight to nine kilogram explosive in four different polythenes, three cylindrical metal boxes containing explosive and electric wires wrapped with transparent tape and two cylindrical metal boxes in which ball bearings were pasted were recovered from his house," the DCP said.

Among other material recovered from his house were "one wooden broken box (for target practice), 30 ball bearings of different diameters, one packet containing 12 small boxes of ball bearings, three lithium batteries - two of 4V and one of 9V, two cylindrical metal boxes, one ampere meter yellow colour".

"Two iron blades, attached in parallel to each other, connected to electric wires from sides, one wire cutter, two mobile chargers, a table alarm watch attached with electric wires and one black colour tape were also recovered from his house," Kushwah said.

Security was stepped up in the national capital and in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh following the arrest.

Khan, 36, planned to strike in the national capital on August 15, but could not do so due to heavy security arrangements.

He had been under the watch of security agencies for the last year.

Khan was first handled by Yusuf-al Hindi, ISIS chief of India operations, who was killed in Syria in 2017. After that he was handled by Abu Huzaifa Al Bakistani, a resident of Pakistan, who was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan in July 2019. Later, another handler instructed him to carry out strikes, the police official had said.

He had tested a small IED near the burial ground in his village. After successful testing, he used the same method to make two pressure cooker IEDs.

Khan was sent to eight-day police custody by a Delhi court on Saturday.

first published:August 23, 2020, 16:43 IST