New Delhi [India], October 2 (ANI): Delhi Police on Monday said that the operative of the terrorist organisation ISIS, Shahnawaz Alam, who has been arrested by Special Cell, conducted a recce of VIP political leaders' routes in several places including metropolitan cities in Maharashtra and Gujarat for planting IEDs and targeted killings.
As per the police, Shahnawaz Alam alias Abdullah, during interrogation, revealed that he conducted recce VIP political leaders' routes in Mumbai, Surat, Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad, etc., for the planting of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) and targeted killings.
"He had also analysed the map of West Rajasthan to find out the IED testing point," police said, adding that since 2022, he started accumulating materials to carry out a blast in Delhi.
The Special Cell of Delhi Police in a major operation busted Pakistan's ISI-sponsored module, disguised as an ISIS module and arrested Shahnawaz, carrying a bounty of Rs 3 lakh on his head by the National Investigation Agency, from Jaitpur in South Delhi earlier today. Apart from him, two persons, Mohammad Rizwan Ashraf and Mohammad Arshad Warsi, also were arrested.
Police said that the module was at the advanced stage of planning terror strikes in Delhi.
Addressing a press briefing, Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) HS Dhaliwal, said, "Last month NIA declared award on three persons who have alleged involvement in blasts cases. Of them, Mohammad Shahnawaz, the main accused, has been arrested with his two associates-- Mohammad Rizwan Ashraf and Mohammad Arshad Warsi.""Ashraf has been arrested from Lucknow, while Arshad was nabbed from Moradabad," the police officer added.
Arshad, police said, is a resident of Jharkhand. He studied at Aligarh University and is now pursuing a doctorate from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.
Dhaliwal said that bomb-making literature, sent from Pakistan-based handlers, and other incriminating materials were recovered from Shahnawaz's hideouts.
"Several explosives-making materials including, elementary, plastic tubes, and iron pipes, were recovered. (Apart from it) Pistol, cartridges, and bomb-making literature sent from Pak-based handlers, were (also) recovered," the Special CP (Special Cell) said.
Police said that initial interrogation revealed that these people, conducted elaborate recce in Western Ghats, southern India, including Hubbali, Dharwad, and Ahmedabad in Gujarat to establish their hideouts.
While responding to media queries, Dhaliwal said, "Shahnawaz is a mining engineer from Visvesvaraya Institute of Technology. His wife, Basanti Patel, is converted to Islam and is now known as Mariam." According to police, the three wanted suspected terrorists were produced before the court earlier in the morning and have been sent to 14 days of police custody.
Last month, the NIA released pictures of four terror suspects, including that of Shahnawaz, wanted in the Pune ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) module case and declared a reward money of Rs 3 lakh each for credible information on them leading to their arrest. The agency has said that the identity of the informant will be kept confidential.
Shahnawaz was briefly caught by Pune Police on the intervening night of July 17-18 when he was trying to steal a motorcycle in the Kothrud area of Pune.
During the investigation, it had come to light that a foreign-based handler had possibly put Shahnawaz in touch with two other terror operatives with instructions to execute a terror strike. (ANI)