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‘IS operative’ held with IEDs in central Delhi | India News


NEW DELHI/LUCKNOW: The special cell of Delhi Police has arrested an alleged IS operative, Abdul Yusuf Khan alias Mustaqeem Khan (36), and claimed to have seized two improvised explosive devices packed in a pressure cooker from him. According to the police, Khan was in touch with a few online entities who are allegedly linked to IS-Khorasan Province (ISKP) through chat platforms.
He was arrested near Buddha Jayanti Park while he was going towards Karol Bagh on a bike after a brief exchange of fire in the early hours of Saturday. The IEDs were later defused at Buddha Jayanti Park in a controlled environment by the bomb disposal squad of NSG. Khan is a resident of Beshahi village in UP’s Balrampur district and runs a store selling cosmetics there.
The police claimed that he had intended to launch a lone-wolf attack on Independence Day but had failed to do so and was looking for another opportunity. On the basis of an alert sent by the special cell, the Balrampur police has cordoned off the house of Yusuf and sealed his shop and the entire village. A team from the special cell has reached Balrampur.
Khan is alleged to have told cops that he wanted to be an “ishtishhadi warrior” or a suicide bomber, but his foreign handlers had instructed him to first execute a lone-wolf attack at a crowded place in Delhi after which he would be given permission to be a fidayee. IS wants to conduct a series of lone-wolf attacks in India in the same way that they had done in Europe.
Khan is alleged to have been in touch with ISIS entities on the web for the past five years. Initially, he had come in contact with the IS in-charge of India, Yusuf Al Hindi, through a social media handle and was radicalised and indoctrinated. However, after Al Hindi was killed in a 2017 drone strike in Syria, Khan’s ID was passed on to Al Hindi’s successor, Abu Huzaifa al Bakistani, a Pakistani national who had taught him to make IEDs. During his training, he had learnt to make suicide vests and belts too.
Police sources said Khan wanted to go to Khorasan to join the IS. He had made passports for his wife and four children but his plans had to be shelved when Bakistani was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan last year. His ID was then passed on the present ISKP chief who instructed him to conduct an IED strike in Delhi. Khan had even tested two low-intensity IEDs at a burial ground near his house in Balrampur, police claimed.
The Balrampur police has come across a neighbour of Khan by the name of Mustaqeem Khan. Investigations are under way to establish if Khan had used his neighbour’s identity as a cover or if the latter too was involved in the crime.
A local resident told reporters that the parents of Khan had gone to lodge a missing report at the Utraula police station on Saturday morning. They claimed that Khan had gone to Lucknow on Friday morning and informed the family on phone. However, since then his number had been switched off and he had gone missing.
On Saturday evening, Yusuf was escorted by police to Beshahi village, where teams are scouring his residence for clues.

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