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Maharashtra ATS arrests 9 persons suspected to have links with the ISIS

The arrested persons have said that they were planning mass killings by mixing chemicals with water and food at large gatherings

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested nine people suspected of having links with the ISIS. The arrested persons had reportedly formed an organisation called ‘Ummat-E-Muhammadiya’.

One of the arrested people is said to be the son of Rashid Malbari, a close aide of Dawood Ibrahim. All the arrested are well-qualified persons with two engineers, one pursuing engineering, one Pharmacist and a class 11th student among them.

The ATS has seized several labelled bottles filled with chemicals along with 6 pen drives, over 24 cell phones, over 6 laptops, 6 wifi pods, over 24 DVDs and CDs, over 12 hard drives and 6 memory cards from the arrested persons.

According to police, the arrested persons have said that they were planning mass killings. They had prepared few chemical mixtures, they were planning to mix the same with water and food at big public gatherings. The police are investigating whether the ongoing Kumbh Mela was in their target list.

The arrested have been identified as Salman Khan, Fahad Shah, Zamen Kutepadi, Mohseen Khan, Mohammad Mazhar Shaikh, Taki Khan, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Zahid Shaikh and a 17-year-old. Three of the arrested men namely Salman Khan, Mohaseen Mazhar Sheikh and Taki Khan are brothers who were reportedly assigned the task of recruiting and radicalising young men. According to the ATS, Mohammad Mazhar Shaikh, a computer engineer in private firm in Bhiwandi, and Fahad Shah, a civil engineer, met Salman during Ramadan in a mosque at Mumbra last year. Another arrested person Zamen Kuttepadi, a medical representative, was recruited by Mohseen as he had good knowledge of chemicals which could be used for chemical attack and logistic support. Salman was assisted by Sarfaraz in recruitment as he used to identify youths in mosques and radicalise them.

These persons were arrested during the searches conducted by the ATS in Amrut Nagar, Kausa, Moti Baug and Almas Colony in Mumbra and Kaisar Colony, Rahat Colony and Damdi Mahal areas in Aurangabad. A case has been registered under IPC Section 120 B (criminal conspiracy), the Bombay Police Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), as told by a police officer.

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