The two suspected Al Qaeda operatives arrested in Lucknow on Sunday had successfully managed to make a bomb through the DIY (Do It Yourself) method, top sources told. The two alleged terrorists assembled their explosives using parts they purchased themselves and built cooker bombs for only Rs 3,000 each. Moreover, Maseeruddin alias Musheer, one of the accused, was caught making bombs with e-rickshaw batteries.
After being interrogated, the duo admitted they were in contact with Al Qaeda and that the terror outfit had contacted them over the internet. An Al Qaeda operative instructed them to make the bombs. The investigation has confirmed links with Al Qaeda. ‘We face a great challenge as UP is a major nexus and we were on target. Modules work independently since their systems are separate. To counter all this, intelligence agencies and ATS will be given a lot of power and weapons’, said ACS Home Awnish Awasthi.
An IED explosive, a pistol, and a pressure cooker bomb were recovered during the raids on the Lucknow terror module, top officials told. According to reports, the accused planned to carry out attacks in crowded places across Uttar Pradesh ahead of Independence Day. As a result of further questioning of the suspects, it became clear that they were in the process of choosing targets for their attacks.
‘The module could have been fatal. We cannot reveal a whole lot publicly. The two arrested were planning big and could have done much damage in the state. They usually target sensitive areas where they may cause heavy damage,’ ACS Home Awnish Awasthi said.
After questioning the two suspects nabbed in Lucknow, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and local police conducted raids in four districts of the state. A youth from Sambhal is being questioned along with three suspects from Kanpur. Moreover, security agencies are monitoring a rumoured ISI sleeper cell in Bijnor. Investigations are ongoing. The Delhi Police Special Cell will also arrive in Lucknow later this week to interrogate the two suspected terror operatives.
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In Lucknow, the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) raided two addresses on Sunday in connection with an alleged terror plot. Five of the seven people living at those addresses fled the scene. The two remaining men have been identified as Maseeruddin and Minhaz Ahmed by the ATS. Both are suspected members of the terror group Ghazwat-ul-Hind with links to Al Qaeda. An alert was then issued across Lucknow and adjoining districts in a bid to nab the suspects who were at large, according to sources.