New Delhi: A major terror strike was averted after the arrest of three men, suspected to be inspired by the Islamic State (IS), who were allegedly planning to carry out blasts at an ongoing local carnival in Assam’s Goalpara district, police said Monday.
The planned terror attack in Assam was only a test run and if successful, they were also planning to strike in heavy footfall areas of Delhi, they said.
The operation to nab the three was carried out jointly by the Delhi Police and their Assam counterparts.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwah said the accused, Mukadir Islam, (22), Ranjeet Ali (24) and Luit Zameel (24), all residents of Goalpara, were arrested Sunday.
“The three were inspired by the Bangladesh module of IS and were carrying a complete the IED (Improvised Explosive Device) to detonate it at Raas Mela, a local fair in Dudhnoi of Goalpara district, Monday night,” Kushwah said. “They were also carrying baton sword and button- actuated knife to carry out lone-wolf attacks,” the DCP added.
Four mobile phones containing ‘valuable information about IS’ and about one kilogram explosive powder were also seized, police added.
Acting on a tip-off, a team of Delhi Police reached Assam, Saturday and with the help of local police, a trap was laid Sunday near Madhuban Lodge Sunday.
“During initial interrogation, the accused disclosed that the recovered IED was complete in all respect and they had planned to connect the battery just before planting it at Raas Mela-Dudhnoi,” police informed.
“They had plans to conduct similar IED blasts in Delhi as well and the intended Assam blasts were a test run,” they added.
The alleged culprits had also gathered IED components for Delhi blasts and the explosive material which they revealed was stored at Ali and Zameel’s house at Krishnai area of Goalpara district.
The three arrested were classmates who became ‘highly radical’ allegedly after watching videos online. They also radicalised some people they were in touch with in Delhi, the police said.
The police are probing their links in the national capital and whether they had come to Delhi to conduct recee of the possible terror targets.
Zameel worked as supervisor in Aadhaar enrolment center, Islam as a driver and Ali as a labourer at fish bazaar at Krishnai, the DCP said.
The three were taken into police remand for 10 days and further investigations were in progress to ascertain if they were planning to carry out the attacks on someone’s direction, the police informed.