In a major operation, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) on Sunday nabbed two terrorists, linked to Al Qaeda, from Kakori on the outskirts of Lucknow. According to Uttar Pradesh Police, the terrorists were planning to execute serial blasts in Lucknow and other densely-populated cities ahead of Independence Day. The terrorists had a crafted plan to plant bombs in crowded areas, including markets with a heavy footfall in the state.
The duo has been identified as Minhaz Ahmad and Maseeruddin.
“ATS UP has uncovered a big terror module. The team has arrested two terrorists linked with al-Qaeda’s Ansar Ghazwat-ul-Hind. Cache of arms, explosive materials were recovered,” ADG Law and Order Prashant Kumar told reporters here.
Kumar revealed that the terror activities were being run from Peshawar, Quetta on Pakistan-Afghanistan border. “To carry out the activities, Minhaz Ahmad and Maseeruddin, were playing a crucial role. Their accomplices in Lucknow, Kanpur were also involved,” he said at the briefing.
Sources revealed that the duo was in touch with Umar Al Mandi, a Pakistan-based handler, who was instructing them to execute their nefarious plans in the state. They used messaging chat app Telegram to communicate among themselves.
The ATS team had received a tip-off about their presence and had been tracking them since the past one week. Finally, the team closed in on their location and arrested the two from a house in Kakori that belongs to one Shahid.
So far, two pressure cooker bombs, a detonator, and 6 to 7 kilograms of explosives have been recovered from the house.
A bomb disposal squad was summoned to the site and nearby houses were evacuated.