ISIS case: NIA conducted raids in Amroha before arrests

Amroha: The NIA sleuths on Wednesday arrested 10 people from Delhi and Uttar Pradesh charging them of being with ISIS and claimed to have busted a series of terror attacks.

The agency said they conducted searches of their houses at 17 locations across these two states for allegedly being part of a module of the Islamic State (IS).

A team of NIA sleuths along with local police in the two states stormed the houses of 10 people on December 26, Indian Express reports.

Surveying Mullano Mohalla, the officers arrested Mufti Suhail, the alleged mastermind of an Islamic State module.

Similar raids were also conducted at the adjacent Qazi Zada colony, where the officials arrested Suhail’s alleged associate, Mohammad Irshad, an autorickshaw driver.

The NIA alleged these persons are a part of their self-appointed group called Harkat-ul-Harb-e-Islam which is affiliated to Islamic State.

According to NIA the two were arrested with eight others from Amroha, Hapur and Delhi’s Seelampur.

These arrests stopped them from carrying out a series of terror attacks claims the agency. The sleuths have also claimed to have recovered rudimentary rocker launcher including huge cache of arms and explosives in these IS raids.

Arrested Mufti Suhail’s relatives and neighbours in Amroha when contacted said they barely knew him ever since he recently moved to the UP town. While Suhail’s father has moved to Delhi Jaffarabad almost 40 years ago his uncle’s family still remains in Amroha.

Suhail’s cousin Mohammed Yahya, a sales tax officer, said, “The family came here once in a year or two, if there was a wedding or if someone died. We have hardly been in touch. For the past month or so, Suhail has been living here with his wife. He hardly interacted with us. We do not know what he was doing apart from renovating his room.”

While the Neighbours said they barely knew him as he stayed in Delhi. “In the past month that he has been here, he hardly interacted with anyone. He would not even exchange greetings while passing by,” said a neighbor who wants to stay anonymous.

The NIA said Suhail had also taught in a madrassa in Amroha which none of the relatives or several madrassas close by know about.

“He was here for just a month. It is unlikely he was going to teach in a madrasa. At least we did not know he was teaching here,” said cousin Yahya.
Speaking to Mohammed Irshad’s family who is busy preparing for the marriage of their daughter and Irshad’s sister, Irshad’s elder brother said: “He has been arrested just because he had Suhail’s mobile number on his phone. Nothing has been recovered from our house. As an autodriver myself, I can tell you several people keep our numbers to call during emergencies.”

“In 2016 a case was registered by the UP Police under the Anti Cow Slaughter Act in which Irshad was also made an accused since he was the driver. I wonder if this has any link to it?” he asks.

Brothers Saeed and Raees Ahmed, who run separate welding shops around Amroha are also among the key accused arrested by the Agency.

Their shops were sealed soon after they raided the workshops. The NIA claims to have recovered most of the explosives (gunpowder, sulphur, potassium chlorate) and the rocket launcher from these workshops.

According to Raees’s father Habib the rocket launcher as claimed by NIA is actually a hydraulic jack used in trolleys.

The shopkeepers near Raees’s workshop also confirmed that Raees used to “make and repair trolleys to carry sugarcane”.

“You can check in the village. Most trolleys have it. The NIA has confused it for rocket launcher,” Habib said.

Saeed’s family members said NIA officials raided their house and work shop too.

“They collected everything in sacks and sealed them. Such hydraulic jacks are still lying in the shop that is now sealed. Someone should explain to them that sulphur is used in welding. The NIA has just collected scrap. No one was trying to make a bomb here,” says a relative.

From Hapur District, an Islamic preacher and son of Imam, Saquib Ifthikhar was also arrested. His inconsolable mother Shaista says, “He was even scared of monkeys. How would he be part of such a crime. If I scolded him, he would begin to cry. He married just a year ago and has an eight-day-old baby.”

Saqib is the son of an Imam at a mosque in Bulandhshahr, while he worked in mosques in Meerut and Dasna before shifting close to his home after marriage.

The NIA claims Saqib helped Suhail procure the weapons.

The mother Shaista said: “He was a God-fearing boy. He just had a phone and tablet that the police have taken away. He had shut the tablet down, which was used by our daughters, saying it was not allowed in Islam. We do not even have his photograph since he considered it haram in Islam.”