The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad on Tuesday arrested nine people, including a 17-year-old boy, from Mumbra, Thane and Aurangabad for alleged links with the Islamic State terrorist group. Incriminating material was found and confiscated from the arrested youths, the Maharashtra Times reported quoting officials in the Anti-Terrorism Squad.
“The group was on the radar of the ATS since the last few weeks and when we felt they might take further steps, we decided to intervene and carried out searches,” Maharashtra ATS chief Atulchandra Kulkarni said, according to PTI. The police trailed them for nine weeks, and tracked inflammatory social media posts, the accused’s connections with entities outside the country, and the literature they read, before arresting them.
“The group was likely to swing into action” when a dozen teams of the squad carried out searches at five different locations in Mumbra and Aurangabad on Tuesday night, and arrested the suspects, an Anti-Terrorism Squad official said. The police found chemicals, explosives, mobile phones, hard drives, SIM cards and knives during the raids. Some of the accused had allegedly procured passports.
“These people had created a terrorist gang inspired by the ISIS called the Ummat E Mohammadiya and had planned terror activities at various places,” an unidentified official told PTI. “The idea was to make some poisonous mixtures and mix those in water or food at places of big events so that people consume it.”
All the seized materials were sent to the forensic science laboratory for examination, the official said.