The nation-wide crackdown on the suspected ISIS sympathisers were carried out by National Investigation Agency (NIA) based on the intelligence provided by American Central Investigation Agency (CIA), reported a leading newspaper.
According to the report, the NIA was tipped off about a terror attack in multiple locations by the CIA, which is tracking online and smart phone activities of ISIS members in Iraq and Syria. The terror-outfit uses several proxy IP address to access Facebook and one of the IP address under the watch was used to contact its operatives in India.
The information was shared with Indian counter-terrorism officials, who stepped up the surveillance on the suspects.
The CIA which was able to intercept the WhatsApp and Facebook messages unraveled an impending terror attack, said the report.
“In mid-January, an exchange between Yousuf and Akhlaq read — 7 kalash rakh do. The code was interpreted as a plot to bomb seven places,” reported Times of India.
The NIA with the help of police and anti-terror squads conducted a series of arrests and detained many others in different parts of the country to prevent a possible terror strike.
A fortnight after NIA arrested suspected Al Qaeda terrorist in Bengaluru, six suspected ISIS sympathisers were detained by NIA during early morning raids held across Karnataka.
Four persons were picked up from different areas in Bengaluru city, while the other two suspects - Nazmul Huda (25) from Permude village in Bajpe, Mangaluru and Syed Mujahid (25) from Tumakuru were arrested by NIA, long with the ATS and state police.
According to sources, the police recovered laptops and arms and ammunition (two AK -47 rifles) during the raids in Bengaluru. While, Nazmul is a college dropout (who was studying chemical engineering in a city college), Syed has studied till SSLC. They allegedly spread ISIS propaganda among the youth.
Meanwhile, some terror suspects were arrested on outskirts of Mumbai by Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad and NIA made four in Hyderabad on similar charges.
According to reports, the suspects arrested on Friday were allegedly plotting to attack ongoing Kumbh Mela at Haridwar in Uttar Pradesh and bomb the trains heading there. Meanwhile, they also had plans to carry out attacks in multiple places in New Delhi.
The arrests have been made in the backdrop of heightened security across the country in view of upcoming Republic Day celebrations. The terror threat is looming large over the celebrations on January 26, for which French President Francois will be the chief guest.
The CIA is also assisting Indian agencies in assessing terror threats to President Hollande and providing inputs on security measures for 67th Republic Day celebrations, according to news reports.