Dead ISIS Terrorist From Lucknow Worked For 15 Hours, Was Linked to MP Train Blast

Lucknow: Hours after the UP Police gunned down ISIS operative from a house in Thakurganj in Lucknow, preliminary investigations have revealed that the conspiracy could have been hatched down south in the state of Telangana.

Sources privy to the interrogation said that the terror operation in Madhya Pradesh was a trailer and Uttar pradesh was the next destination of the terrorist.

“The Ujjain train blast appears to be dress rehearsal for something big,” the official added on the condition of anonymity.

All 3 terrorists involved in the train blast have been arrested. The mastermind was Atif Muzzaffar who is a resident of Kanpur along with Mohammad Danis also from kanpur and Sayyed Meer Hussain from Kannuaj.

According to reports, it all began with a tip off that the UP ATS received from Madhya Pradesh police about the presence of terror suspects in Kanpur and Lucknow around 5:15 pm.

Also Read: ISIS Suspect Gunned Down in Lucknow After 11 Hours, UP DGP claims Success

Police then carried out raids, arresting two men in Kanpur and one from Etawah. A third raid targeted the Thakurganj, Lucknow home.

Around 5:30pm the Madhya Pradesh Inspector General of Police confirmed that the ISIS suspect hiding inside the building in Thakurganj, Lucknow was behind the low-intensity blast in Bhopal-Ujjain train on Monday morning that injured 10 passengers.

Also Read: ISIS Men Used Pipe Bomb in Bhopal-Ujjain train, Also Sent Pictures to Syria

By 6:15pm the terror suspect in Thakurganj had been cornered. Policemen and a squad of commandos in black uniforms swooped down at a single storey house to take down the suspect.

Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad members take positions near a building where a suspected terrorist is holed up in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow on Tuesday (PTI Photo)Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad members take positions near a building where a suspected terrorist is holed up in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow on Tuesday (PTI Photo) Uttar Pradesh Anti Terror Squad members take positions near a building where a suspected terrorist is holed up in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow on Tuesday (PTI Photo)

Forces first made all efforts to nab the suspected terrorist alive, but when it didn’t materialize, they had to fire chilly bombs in an attempt to flush him out.

Speaking to the media after the anti-terror operation ended, Arun said, “Efforts were made to catch the suspected terrorist (identified as Saifullah) alive, but unfortunately it didn’t materialise. We fired tear gas shells and chilli bombs so that he comes out. But, he did not come out.”

After this the ATS commandos stormed inside the house and started firing, which continued till 8 pm, with several rounds of shots being fired. Commandos had drilled open a wall and used micro tube cameras to get a sense of what was going on inside where Saifullah was holed up. At one point of time during the operation the commandos felt that there are more than one person inside the house which turned out to be false in the end.

The siege finally ended at around 3 am on Wednesday morning.

The police said that the terror suspect, identified as Saifullah, a resident of Kanpur, was a member of the ISIS Khorasan module and was getting directions from a handler abroad.

They also suspect that the train blast at Jabri railway station in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh was the first instance of a terror strike by an IS module in India.

Also Read: Terror Suspects Belong to ISIS Khurasan, Say Police; Uttar Pradesh on High Alert

Suspect Saifullah had rented this particular house for the last 3-4 months and was living there with two others and did not mingle with anyone, an ATS official said.

Police suspect that at least 11-12 people are supposed to be part of the larger module.

UP Police recovered, eight pistols, 650 rounds of ammunition, 50 fired rounds, explosives, materials, gold, some cash, passports and SIM cards.

Also recovered from the site were pages from the dead terrorist’s diary after the encounter which detailed his daily schedule and flags of India and Israel. They followed a strict regimen where days were split into mundane chores while preparing for the terror operation, an official said.

Also Read: 10 Things to Know about ISIS Khorasan, an Offshoot of the Original ISIS

On a normal day the terrorist would wake up at 7 am but on certain special days their regimen would begin at 4am with break for exercise, cooking, Quran recitation and lectures, an official added.

The terrorists’ to-do list was very tightly planned, starting 4 am to 8.30 at night.

UP police is now on the lookout for the remaining suspects in the case and the NIA teams have reached Thakurganj in Lucknow and Bhopal respectively to conduct further probe.

First Published: March 8, 2017, 12:01 PM IST