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How a Moulvi, Supported by Nine Men, Planned IS-Inspired Attacks in Delhi

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) claims that Moulavi Sohail, a religious teacher based in Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, had radicalised a group of men to carry out a series of bomb blasts in India.

Arunima | CNN-News18Arunima24

Updated:December 26, 2018, 11:36 PM IST
How a Moulvi, Supported by Nine Men, Planned IS-Inspired Attacks in Delhi
The recovery made by the NIA after its raids at 17 locations on Wednesday.
New Delhi: A 29-year-old Moulavi and his nine associates have emerged as the new face of terror in India.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) claims that Moulavi Sohail, a religious teacher based in Amroha in Uttar Pradesh, had radicalised a group of men to carry out a series of bomb blasts in India.

The group called ‘Harkat ul Harb e Islam’ was in the advance stages of carrying out a series of blasts and according to the agency, it was planning to target crowded localities, political personalities and security installations in Delhi.

CNN-News18 pieces together the alleged terror conspiracy and the role that the accused played.

Moulavi Sohail who is a Mufti or religious teacher in a Madrasa at Hakim Mahtab Uddin Hashmi Road, Amroha, UP, Sohail has emerged as the mastermind of this IS module. His parents live in Zafarabad and the NIA says Mufti had shifted base back to Delhi to recruit and plan the terror conspiracy.

The NIA recovered videos from his mobile phone and laptop in which the Mufti is seen assembling the circuit of a bomb and giving instructions on which wire to connect in order to get maximum impact. He also brags in the video that this is the first of its kind remote bomb made in India.

The NIA investigation shows the Mufti was in touch with a foreign handler who guided him on how to further the conspiracy.

Helping the Moulavi in his design was Anas Yunus, a third year civil engineering student of Amity University, Noida. Anas met Mufti Sohail in the Zafarabad neighbourhood where he lives. Anas, as per the NIA, was instrumental in procuring electrical items, alarm clocks and batteries, etc. His engineering knowledge was also used by the terror group to assemble circuits and bombs.

The NIA said that other than pipe bombs the group also assembled suicide vest and rocket launchers to carry out fidayeen attacks. Brothers Raees Ahmad and Sayeed Ahmed, welders by profession, helped the group in their design. Resident of Saidapur Imma, Amroha, UP, the brothers appear to be the mainstay of the terror group as far as procurement and designing of weapons are concerned. As per the NIA investigation, Raees has a karkhana or a welding shop at Islam Nagar, Near Idgah in Amroha. It is here that the brothers fashioned a country made rocket launcher. The NIA says it also recovered about 25 kg of explosives like potassium Nitrate and Potassium Sulphate from the premises of Raees and Saaed. Pipe bombs in various stages of assembly were also recovered.

Auto rickshaw driver Mohd Irshad, resident of Qazi Zada in Amroha helped ferry the weapons from location to location. According to the NIA, Irshad also helped Moulvi Sohail arrange a hide-out for keeping the material for making IEDs and bombs.

If Irshad helped with transportation, brothers Zaid and Zubair Malik procured 100s of SIM cards on fake documents. These SIMs would have played a role in activating the bomb using a mobile phone, if the plan of the group succeeded.

Zaid, 20, is a student of Delhi University, while brother Zabair, 22, runs a mobile shop. The NIA says other than the fake SIMs, the brothers were also instrumental in procuring batteries, connectors and mobilising funds for buying bomb-making material.

Officials investigating the case said that the group was highly radicalised. Rashid Zafar Raq, 23, was so motivated by the idea of bomb making that he allegedly stole gold from his own house to fund the terror conspiracy. He is into clothing business and Moulavi Sohail allegedly used him for arranging funds.

A medical shop owner Mohd Azam also helped arrange weapons. Azam, 35, had gone to Saudi Arabia recently for Ujra. His family claims he has no links with the IS but the NIA has arrested him on charges of criminal conspiracy to wage war against India. Azam lives next to Moulavi Sohail's house in Seelampur and runs a medical shop in Shahdra.

(Get detailed and live results of each and every seat in the Lok Sabha elections and state Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim to know which candidate/party is leading or trailing and to know who has won and who has lost and by what margin. Our one-of-its-kind Election Analytics Centre lets you don a psephologist’s hat and turn into an election expert. Know interesting facts and trivia about the elections and see our informative graphics. Elections = News18)
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