Days before India celebrates its Independence Day on August 15, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested two youths from Hyderabad on Sunday, August 12, for their links with terror group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The two are said to be a part of the 2016 ISIS module case.
The accused have been identified as 24-year-old Mohammed Abdullah Basith and Mohammed Abdul Qhadeer, 19, and the duo was reportedly working to further ISIS' ideology and was planning terror strikes in India.
The NIA was acting on a tip-off, which also said that they were also in touch with Adnan Hassan, who was earlier arrested in the same case and is facing trial. Basith and Qhadeer also reportedly had links with men training youth to carry out attacks in the country.
"During further investigation a fresh input was received from reliable sources that one Abdullah Basith resident of Hyderabad, who was connected with accused Adnan Hassan and some of his associates are in regular touch with each other and conspiring to further the activities of ISIS, a proscribed terrorist organisation in India," NIA officials said in a press release.
"The initial questioning/interviewing done so far has brought out the involvement of accused Abdullah Basith, Mohd Abdul Qhadeer and other associates pledging their allegiance to the proscribed terrorist organization ISIS to carry out terror activities in India."
The NIA has been interrogating several suspects over the last few days and have also conducted searches in over seven locations, reported the Press Trust of India.
On arrest, the NIA sleuths are also said to have recovered "certain incriminating materials" which have now been sent to the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Hyderabad for data extraction and examination.
Meanwhile, Basith is not new to arrest. He was also nabbed in December 2015, when he and two other youths were planning to run away to Syria to join ISIS. The three had just Rs 90,000 with them and intended to go to Nagpur via Adilabad and take a flight to Kashmir. They then planned to cross over to Afghanistan and go to Syria, reported the New Indian Express. However, they were arrested at the Nagpur airport.
Before that, Basith was also detained in Kolkata in 2014, when he and two of his friends were going to Bangladesh, from where they planned to go to Syria.
The arrest comes days after the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) arrested three men from Nallasopara and Satara and recovered a huge cache of explosives from them.
The three men possessed a huge amount of ammunition such as 20 country-made bombs, gelatin sticks and other materials used to make explosives. With this, the ATS officials believe that they have foiled a major terror plot.
The arrested have been identified as Vaibhav Raut (40), Sharad Kadaskar (25) and Sudhanva Gondhalekar (39). Raut, a member of the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti, and Kalaskar were arrested in Nallasopara of Palghar district, while Gondhalekar was taken into custody from Pune.
The ATS officials explained that Raut planned to carry out terror attacks in Pune, Solapur, Satara and Nalasopara. Speaking of the trio, ATS chief Atulchandra Kulkarni said that the men possessed a lot of explosives and a chit with information on how to make bombs.