Daesh attack intercepted in India
Police officers in New Delhi. (Twitter)
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Police officials in Delhi announced on Wednesday the arrest of four individuals aged 19-23 with links to Daesh, who were in touch with handlers in Syria and Iraq and were planning a attack before Republic Day. The targets included the Ardh Kumbh in Haridwar and popular shopping malls of Delhi-NCR such as Select Citywalk, Saket; DLF Promenade, Vasant Kunj and the Great India Place in Noida, according to the Khaleej Times.
The arrests confirmed the presence of Daesh in India for the first time, raising the national security threat level. The Daesh group were planning to prepare IEDs and procuring weapons, following the instructions of handles whom they communicated with via VOIP, WhatsApp and Facebook, according to police reports.
Delhi Police arrested four suspected extremists, reportedly linked with the Daesh group for plotting attacks in the capital and surrounding areas.
The four suspects from Haridwar in Uttarakhand were identified as Akhlaq ur Rehman, Mohammad Osama alias Adil, Mohammad Azimu Shaan and Mehraj. The arrest took place on Tuesday after specific information was collected by central intelligence agencies.
"All the suspects belong to Haridwar from where they were arrested on Tuesday. We produced them in a court in Delhi on Wednesday which sent them to 15 days police custody," said Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Arvind Deep.
The suspects planned to detonate bombs during the ongoing Ardh Kumbh in Haridwar, a religious congregation, as well as in Roorkee-Haridwar bound trains, in Delhi and some parts of the National Capital Region (NCR).
The Ardh-Kumbh is which began January 1 and is due to continue until April 30. During the four-month religious celebration, over 50,000,000 pilgrims are expected to visit the district to bathe in the holy Ganga river.
Police reported that the suspects were in contact with Shafi Armar, who recruits for Ansar Al Twahid, the Indian offshoot of the extremist group.
"We got an input from intelligence agencies that some people are planning attacks on Roorkee-Haridwar bound trains and some other locations in Haridwar and NCR," Arvind Deep said.
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