Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

NIA searches 19 locations in Ballari IS module case; arrests 8, foils IED attack plans

New Delhi : In a major action, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday carried out searches at 19 locations and arrested eight operatives of banned terror outfit ISIS’s Ballari module , including its leader Minaz, and foiled plans to carry out terror acts, IED blasts in particular.

An NIA spokesperson here said that multiple teams of the anti-terror probe agency swooped down on 19 locations spread across Karnataka’s Ballari and Bengaluru, Maharashtra’s Amaravati, Mumbai and Pune, Jharkhand’s Jamshedpur and Bokaro, and Delhi.

The official said the eight ISIS agents arrested during the raids were involved in actively promoting terror and related acts and activities of ISIS, a proscribed organisation.

The official said all of them were operating under the leadership of Minaz aka Mohammad Sulaiman.

The spokesperson also said that the searches led to the seizure of explosive materials, such as sulphur, potassium nitrate, charcoal, gunpowder, sugar and ethanol, sharp-edged weapons, unaccounted cash and incriminating documents, along with smartphones and other digital devices.

“According to initial investigations, the accused had planned to use the explosive materials for fabrication of IEDs, which were to be used for carrying out terror acts,” the official said.

The spokesperson also said that its probe revealed that the accused were continuously in touch with one another via encrypted apps.

“They were specifically aiming college students for the purpose of recruitment, and were also circulating documents relating to recruitment of Mujahideen for the purpose of Jihad,” the official claimed.

“The raids conducted today were part of NIA’s efforts to destroy the ISIS terror conspiracy against India. The searches were carried out through close coordination and the operational assistance of Karnataka Police, Maharashtra Police, Jharkhand Police and the Delhi Police,” the official said.

The NIA had registered a case against the ISIS inspired Ballari module on December 14. Since then, the agency has been working closely with the state police and central agencies to track and apprehend the members of this module.

“The anti-terror agency has been conducting large-scale crackdowns and has busted various ISIS modules in recent months. Several terror operatives have been arrested in these raids by the NIA,” the official said.

The spokesperson said that Minaz and Syed Sameer were arrested from Ballari, Anas Iqbal Shaikh from Mumbai, Mohammad Muniruddin, Syid Samiullah, and Mohammad Muzammil from Bengaluru, Shayan Rahman aka Hussain from Delhi, while Mohammad Shahbaz aka Zulfikar was arrested from Jamshedpur.

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