The 11 youths detained by the National Investigation Agency on Wednesday were planning to trigger communal riots in Hyderabad. The agency had reportedly intercepted a phone call, in which they heard the suspected Islamic State sympathisers of planning to throw pieces of cow and buffalo meat in temples in Hyderabad, while multiple blasts went off in various parts of the city.

“They had gathered explosives to fabricate around 30-40 improvised explosive devices [IEDs] on short notice. They had tested the IEDs as well. The action could have happened on Wednesday itself,” an NIA officer said. The conversations intercepted by the investigative agency will be used as evidence against the youths – five of whom were arrested – in court, Hindustan Times reported. The agency will produce them before a special NIA court in Hyderabad’s Nampally area on Thursday.

NIA chief Sharad Kumar said those arrested were well-educated and came from affluent families, adding that one of them had a background in management, while two others were engineers. “They were in touch with an Islamic State handler known as Yusuf al-Hindi, who is believed to be Syria,” Kumar added. Al-Hindi is suspected to have started the Indian Mujahideen under the name Shafi Amar.

Investigators recovered Rs 15 lakh in cash, 40 cell phones, 32 SIM cards and six laptops after the busting the terror cell on Wednesday. A high alert had been sounded at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, as well, and personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force and Rapid Action Force were deployed.