The three were arrested in raids across Delhi and Uttar Pradesh
All three terror suspects arrested in the crackdown on the ISIS network in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh yesterday are engineers by education and had expertise in making bombs, police have said.
HGS Dhaliwal, senior officer in Delhi Police Special Cell, said one of the three terror suspects arrested today is Mohammad Shahnawaz, who was on the most wanted list of National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA had last month announced a cash award of Rs 3 lakh each for information about Shahnawaz and two others, who allegedly played key roles in blasts in different parts of the country.
The other two arrested are Shahnawaz's associates Mohammed Rizwan Ashraf and Mohammed Arshad Warsi, Mr Dhaliwal said.
While Shahnawaz was arrested from Delhi's Jaitpur, Rizwan and Ashraf were caught from Lucknow and Moradabad in Uttar Pradesh, respectively.
Police said they have recovered a pistol, items used in bombmaking, chemicals and Jihadi literature from Pakistan at Shahnawaz's Delhi hideout. The three suspects, Mr Dhaliwal said, had conducted recce in different parts of the country and tested bombs.
They would stay in touch with their ISIS handler and shared reports on a regular basis. They had been instructed to procure all items they need locally so that external role in their work is not exposed, polie said.
Shahnawaz, police said, is from Hazaribagh in Jharkhand. A mining engineer by education, he had knowledge of engineering blasts. His wife was a Hindu by birth but had converted to Islam before they married. She is on the run now.
Mohammed Arshad Warsi, police said, is also from Jharkhand. He had completed a BTech in Mechanical Engineering from Aligarh University and had been pursuing a doctorate from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi.
Mohammed Rizwan Ashraf holds a BTech in computer science. Originally from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, he had trained as a cleric too.
Mr Dhaliwal said the ongoing crackdown has exposed the pan-India module of ISIS. "Their aim was to target well-know people and inflict maximum casualties," he said, adding that they have also uncovered the funding trail behind such activities.