Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 25
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday conducted searches at five locations in Kashmir, including Shopian and Budgam districts, in connection with “Al-Qaida case of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh”.
“During the searches, large numbers of incriminating documents and digital devices have been seized,” the NIA said.
The case pertains to Umar Halmandi, an Al-Qaida operative, who along with other accused persons, had been radicalising and recruiting vulnerable persons for Al-Qaida in Indian Subcontinent and trying to raise Ansaar Gajwatul Hind to carry out terrorist acts for, which they had already arranged arms and explosive substances.
In July, Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad arrested two operatives of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. It was alleged that the two were planning a series of blasts in Uttar Pradesh around the Independence Day.
Those arrested were identified as Minaz Ahmad, 32, arrested from Kakori outskirts of Lucknow and Masiruddin, 50, from Madioan. The sleuths also recovered improvised explosive device in the form of a pressure cooker bomb along with a 9 mm country-made pistol from Minaz’s house. The accused were connected to the Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind for the past one year.
It’s alleged that the two accused were in touch with Umar Halmandi, a listed Al-Qaida operative based somewhere along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. On Umar’s directions, the duo was planning blasts in the state. Umar has been handling Al-Qaida’s operations in the Indian sub-continent.
The Al-Qaida’s India Sub-continent module was announced on September 3, 2014, by Al Zawahiri and Maulana Asim Omar was made its leader. Asim Umar had roots in Sambal district of Uttar Pradesh and was killed in 2019 in Afghanistan. Thereafter, this module was being run by Umar Halmandi from Peshawar/Quetta area.
Halmandi was radicalising and then recruiting men from Uttar Pradesh.
- The case was initially registered on July 11, 2021, by the Uttar Pradesh Police and the NIA took over the case on July 29, 2021.
- The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad had arrested two operatives of Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind.
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