Fidayeen Attack Averted, Say Delhi Police as Suspected ISIS Operative Arrested With Pressure Cooker-based IEDs
Two pressure cooker-based IEDs, a pistol with four live rounds and one Apache motorcycle were seized from the suspect who was identified by police officials as a native of Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh.
A suspected operative of the Islamic State or ISIS terror group was arrested with two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) after exchange of fire with policemen in central Delhi's Ridge Road area, the Delhi Police said on Saturday.
The shootout took place late on Friday along the Dhaula Kuan-Karol Bagh route. Sources in the Special Cell said six rounds were fired after which the suspected ISIS operative was taken into custody.
"The accused was arrested after an exchange of fire from Ridge Road between Dhaula Kuan and Karol Bagh," Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Pramod Singh Kushwaha said.
Two pressure cooker-based IEDs, a pistol with four live rounds and one Apache motorcycle were seized from the suspect who was identified by police officials as Mohammad Mustakim Khan alias Yusuf Khan alias Abu Yusuf Khan, a native of Balrampur district in Uttar Pradesh.
The IEDs were defused by National Security Guard (NSG) commandos and the Bomb Disposal Squad at Buddha Jayanti Park in Ridge Road area from where the suspected terrorist was arrested.
The suspected ISIS operative has been remanded to police custody for eight days.
At a media briefing, DCP Pramod Kushwaha said the suspect’s intention was to place the pressure cookers in an area with heavy footfall. He added that the police had been tracking his movements for the last one year.
“He is connected directly with ISIS commanders. Initially, he was in touch with Yusuf Al-Hindi who died in Syria last year. Then he got in touch with Pakistan's Abu Huzaifa. The ISIS operative was supposed to come to Delhi on August 15 to carry out the attack, but because of the heavy security he couldn't come,” Kushwaha said.
“A terrorist strike has been averted with this operation. He was instructed to carry out a fidayeen attack. He claims he had a suicide belt ready. He has been connected with the ISIS online for the last four years. We are verifying when he entered Delhi. He was alone when we intercepted him,” the DCP added.
In wake of the arrest, Uttar Pradesh DGP Hitesh Chandra Awasthi sounded an alert in the state and asked all police officers, especially those in field posting, to remain vigilant and take necessary precautions. In addition, security checks have been intensified along the Delhi border in Uttar Pradesh's Noida.
Vehicles and passengers moving to and fro Delhi are being checked at the border, while Gautam Buddh Nagar district is also on alert mode, Noida Deputy Commissioner of Police Rajesh S said. Senior police officers also assessed security checks in the district bordering Delhi..