Unnao: There has been an alert issued in the Lucknow Commissionerate, districts of Hardoi, Sitapur, Barabanki, Unnao and Rae Bareli as well as western Uttar Pradesh regarding intel on a series of terror attacks. An anti-terrorism raid was conducted by the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Saturday. There were seven people living in the house where the ATS conducted a raid, and an alert was issued in Lucknow and neighboring districts after five of them managed to flee, according to sources. The UP Police have apprehended two people so far. These two have been identified as Maseeruddin and Minhaj.
A search operation is being conducted at several houses including that of Shahid and the house of Minhaj’s father Siraj, sources said. Shahid has lived in Saudi Arabia for five years, according to sources. Telegram was his preferred method of communicating with Al-Qaeda and its Pakistani handler, Al-ul. Before being caught, Shahid Khan burned some papers and other items.
Two pressure-cooker bombs, along with many explosives and pistols, were found, according to sources. With the help of the dog squad of ATS, explosives were recovered from inside the house. The Bomb Disposal Squad team removed the recovered explosives. ‘ATS UP has brought to light a major terror module’, said Prashant Kumar, ADG of Law and Order in UP. The team has arrested two terrorists from al-Qaeda’s Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.
GK Goswami, head of ATS in UP, said, ‘There was a planned series of bombings in UP and Lucknow. A live bomb was also recovered. Terrorists have ties to Kashmir. Previously, there were sleeper cells, but now they were working actively. There will be blasts in Lucknow and UP today or tomorrow. Explosives have been recovered in large quantities’.
Moreover, GK Goswami added that the suspected terrorists had been planning the attack for several days. ‘Right now, there may be many such hidden structures, about which the raids are going on continuously’, GK Goswami added. According to reports, raids are also being conducted in western UP.