As per reports, Punjab has surfaced for the first time in the investigation as earlier the raids were conducted in Uttar Pradesh and in NCR region. On 12th January, the NIA had made a fresh arrest from Uttar Pradesh’s Ghaziabad and conducted raids in several UP towns like Hapur, Meerut and Ghaziabad. The agency had found that the founder of the module Mufti Mohammad Suhail alias Hazrath had travelled to Tral, Rajouri and Bandipora in Kashmir twice last year. According to the agency, Hazrath travelled to these places to seek arms training from a Pakistani trained Mujahideen (terrorist).
The information was given to the NIA by Suhail’s close aid Saqib Iftekar during interrogation. Iftekar who used to work as an Imam at Jama Masjid in Baksar, Uttar Pradesh allegedly helped the module in procuring weapons to carry out attacks in North India. Saqib is reported to have travelled to South Kashmir in May and August last year and had several meetings for religious purposes in Rajouri and Bandipora.
In the raid carried out in December, college students, maulvi, rickshaw driver were found to be among those recruited by the ISIS-inspired module. The NIA had said that their level of preparedness suggests they wanted to carry out explosions in near future by remote control blasts and fidayeen attacks. He added that this is a new ISIS-inspired terror-module and they were in touch with a foreign agent. During the raids a total amount of Rs. 7.5 lakh, 100 mobile phones and 135 sim cards were recovered along with laptops.