In a massive breakthrough, the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested two terrorists of the Al Qaeda-supported Ansar Ghazwatul Hind from the outskirts of Lucknow on Sunday. Identified as Minhaz Ahmad and Maseeruddin, the duo was planning to “unleash terror activities” on August 15 in different cities of the state, including Lucknow. The terrorists were planning to execute serial blasts in Lucknow and other densely-populated cities on the occasion of Independence Day. The terrorists had a crafted plan to plant bombs in crowded areas, including markets with a heavy footfall in the state.
LUCKNOW, BIG CITIES WERE ON TARGET
“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.
PLAN TO MAR I-DAY CELEBRATIONS
Ahmed and Maseeruddin, on the instructions of Umar Halmandi, the head of the Uttar Pradesh module of the Al-Qaeda, along with their associates were planning to “unleash terror activities on August 15 in different cities of the state, especially its capital Lucknow”, the additional director general of police (ADGP) said.
“They were planning explosions at important places, memorials and crowded places, and also to use human bombs. For this, they were collecting weapons and explosives,” Kumar said.
Sources revealed that the they used messaging chat app Telegram to communicate among themselves.
Kumar said that members of this module are not only from Lucknow, but also from Kanpur in the state. Meanwhile, raids are being conducted at different places to apprehend associates of these terrorists, Ahmed and Maseeruddin, the ADGP said.
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.
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.