On 22nd August, Delhi Police arrested an ISIS operative from New Delhi after an encounter. The Police got the information about him from Intelligence Agencies after which he was nabbed. During interrogation and search in his house in Uttar Pradesh’ Balrampur, a lot of updates followed. Here is what we know about Abu Yusuf and his case so far.
- On 22nd, Delhi Police arrested Abu Yusuf after an encounter from the Dhuala Kuan area. Police recovered explosives and weapons from him. The police recovered a pistol, live cartridges, and approx 15 KG IED from Yusuf along with two pressure cookers. IEDs were diffused with the help of the Bomb Disposal Team of National Security Guards (NSG).
- Teams of central agencies, Delhi Police and UP Police ATC, questioned him.
- After his arrest, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh have put on high alert especially Ayodhya, Noida, and National Capital. Police carried out multiple raids in Delhi and UP to find his other associates.
- During the initial interrogation, Yusuf told the police that he, along with his group, was planning a major terror attack as a retaliation to the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
- He informed the police that he was in touch with his handlers in Afganistan and later police found out that he was in contact with handlers in Syria and Pakistan as well.
- DCP Special Cell PS Kushwah said in a statement that he was planning to carry out lone-wolf attacks in a crowded area in Delhi. According to the reports, he told the police that he did a recce of several places that can be considered as potential targets for terror attacks.
- Police booked Yusuf under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. He was sent to police custody for eight days.
- He spent five years from 2006 to 2010 in Saudi Arabia. Security agencies believe that this was the time when he came in contact with the radicals and started operating as a sleeper cell for ISIS.
- Yusuf revealed that he had planned to move to Khorasan in Afghanistan along with his family but his handler Huzaifa died in 2019 that forced him to stay in India.
- His first handler was Yusuf-al Hindi who was killed in Syria in 2017. Abu Haziafa Al Bakistani, a Pakistani took over for Hindi who was killed in drone strikes in Afghanistan. After that, a different handler was in contact with Yusuf who was helping him in carrying out attacks in India.
- Reports suggest that security agencies were keeping an eye on him from last year. He had planned to detonate bombs on 15th August, but it failed.
- Recent reports suggest that he was highly influenced by the Islamic Preacher Zakir Naik who fled from India and took shelter in Malaysia. The Malaysian government had given him a permanent residency.
- The security agencies took Yusuf to his native place in Balrampur Uttar Pradesh to search his house. The police found bomb jackets, explosives and inflammatory material at his residence.
Reactions of Yusuf’s family
Yusuf’s father claimed that he did not know about his intentions, and if he had known, he would have thrown him out of the house.
I regret he was involved in such activities. I wish he could be forgiven for once if possible but his act is wrong. Had I known about his activities I would have asked him to leave us: Kafeel Ahmed (father of ISIS operative Abu Yusuf who was arrested y’day in Delhi) in Balrampur pic.twitter.com/jLMp4C6Qzb— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) August 23, 2020
Yusuf’s wife tried to play the poverty card and said that he should be forgiven as she has four children, and without a husband, it will be difficult for her to manage her house. Interestingly, his wife knew that he had been hiding explosives at home, but she never cared to inform the police or anyone about it.