The Uttar Pradesh anti-terrorism squad (ATS) and Delhi Police special cell arrested three ISIS (Islamic State) suspects on charges of terror conspiracy and busted an inter-state terror module.
The three men were arrested from Mumbai, Ludhiana and Bijnor.
Searches were carried out in Mumbai (Maharashtra), Jalandhar (Punjab), Narkatiaganj (Bihar), Bijnor (Uttar Pradesh) and Muzaffarnagar (Uttar Pradesh).
According to sources in the ATS, one of the accused, who was arrested from Mumbra in Mumbai, is an ISIS recruiter for Maharashtra. Several SIM cards were seized from the 26-year-old's house.
In fresh development, the ATS has detained a suspect from Narkatiaganj in Bihar while two suspects from Mumbai have been detained.
LOOKING FOR POTENTIAL RECRUITS
Besides Uttar Pradesh ATS and Delhi Police special cell, the crime investigation department of Andhra Pradesh Police, Maharashtra ATS, Bihar Police and Punjab Police were part of the operation.
Further investigation is on and six people are being questioned by police.
According to information accessed so far, the three arrested men are suspected to be part of a terror module which was building a new organisation with orders from handlers based in Iraq.
The group was planning to launch strikes and a massive recruitment drive was on when the module was busted.
The anti-terror operation, which was on since the last five days, led to the arrests this morning.
An ATS source said, "The gang was operating nationwide. Several agencies were on it. For the last 15 to 30 days, a close watch was kept on the gang and its members were tracked. On Wednesday night, the places were raided simultaneously."
THE LUCKNOW SIEGE
Nearly a month ago, police had busted an ISIS-inspired terror module and one of its suspected members, Saifullah, was killed in a 12-hour siege and anti-terror operation in Lucknow. The module was allegedly involved in the Ujjain train blast.
According to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probe reports, the ISIS-inspired module had made a failed attempt to carry out an explosion at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Lucknow on Dussehra last year.
(With inputs from Arvind Ojha, Sahil Joshi and Saurabh Vaktania)