The Uttar Pradesh Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Tuesday arrested an alleged terrorist with links to the terrorist group ISIS who was planning an attack on the upcoming Independence Day.
UP ATS arrested Sabauddin Azmi, a member of the Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM, after questioning him at its Lucknow headquarters, said Additional Director General of Police (ADG), Law and Order, Prashant Kumar in a statement.
Azmi is a resident of Amilo area of Azamgarh district. He also goes by the names Dilawar Khan and Bairam Khan, according to UP Police. It further said that a case has been registered against Azmi under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Arms Act.
The statement added that Azmi was in direct contact with an ISIS recruiter and that ATS has seized materials used in making bombs, an illegal weapon and cartridges from the accused.
The UP ATS received information that the accused, after being influenced by ISIS ideology, was spreading jihadi ideas and trying to get others to join the terror outfit, said the statement, adding that he was brought in for questioning and was arrested after evidence of his links with the ISIS were found.
UP Police said after connecting with a person identified as Bilal on Facebook, Azmi started a conversation about the action being taken in Kashmir and Bilal provided him the contact of ISIS member Musa alias Khattab Kashmiri. Azmi got in touch with Musa and then with Abu Bakr al-Shami of the ISIS living in Syria, the statement said.
According to the police, Shami got Azmi in touch with Abu Umar, a resident of Murtaniya who started training him on how to make hand grenades, bombs and IEDs and working on a plan to establish an Islamic State in India.
The statement said Azmi was planning an explosion on Independence Day.
Azmi was working on a plan to target members of the RSS, it added.
The Times of India reported that Azmi joined the Telegram channel 'Al-Saqr Media' created by the banned terrorist organization ISIS to brainwash Muslim youth for terror and jihad.
Ahead of the Independence Day, this is the third such arrest. Earlier this week, NIA had arrested a man alleged to be raising funds for ISIS from Delhi.
On Monday, NIA arrested two "highly radicalised" Bangladeshi nationals allegedly involved in propagating jihad in India by posting hateful and incriminating materials online. They were arrested in a case related to the arrest of six active cadre of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), including three illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, from Aishbagh in Bhopal early this year, the spokesperson said.
The Union government banned terror group JMB in May 2019. At the time, the Ministry of Home Affairs said, "The Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh and its formations like Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen India or Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Hindustan and their manifestations have committed acts of terrorism, promoted acts of terrorism and have been engaged in radicalisation and recruitment of youth(s) for terrorist activities in India."
Earlier on July 31, NIA carried out raids at 13 places in six states — Bhopal and Raisen in Madhya Pradesh; Bharuch, Surat, Navsari and Ahmedabad in Gujarat; Arariya in Bihar; Bhatkal and Tumkur City in Karnataka; Kolhapur, and Nanded in Maharashtra; and Deoband in Uttar Pradesh.
The NIA caried out raids to bust the module actively involved in content creation as well as propagation of India-centric ISIS magazine 'Voice of Hind', reported India Today at the time, adding that over 50 people were questioned for alleged terror links.
ANI also reported that the NIA searches on July 31 led to the seizure of incriminating documents and material.
(With PTI inputs)