Arrested man had plans to carry out attacks in Mumbai, Guj, UP: Maharashtra ATS
A 32-year-old man, arrested by Maharashtra's Anti-Terrorism Squad on May 11, had plans to carry out terror attacks in Mumbai, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh with the help of his group members, a senior ATS official said on Monday.
ATS officials are interrogating Faizal Hassan Mirza, who was arrested in Mumbai on Friday in a joint operation with the Kolkata Police's Special Task Force (STF) and the Mumbai Police, ATS chief Atulchandra Kulkarni told reporters.
Mirza left the country a few months ago on the pretext of getting a job, as per the instructions of his "handler" and his distant kin Farooq Devadiwala, who stays in Sharjah, another official said.
Devadiwala is a wanted accused in terror activities in Mumbai and has underworld links, he said.
According to sources, Devadiwala is also connected with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's trusted aide Chhota Shakil and was recruiting men from Mumbai and other cities to carry out terror activities.
He was instrumental in recruiting Mirza for terror activities and suicide bombings and had arranged air tickets for the latter from Mumbai to Sharjah, the official said.
From Sharjah, Devadiwala took Mirza to Dubai and arranged a flight for Nairobi, which had a transit halt in Pakistan, he said.
When his flight landed at the Karachi airport, Mirza was asked to deplane and with the help of Pakistan's intelligence agency ISI, was taken to a terror training camp and trained by the handlers and a religious preacher, the official claimed.
After returning to Mumbai, Mirza was awaiting orders from the handlers to carry out attacks in Mumbai, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, he said.
They had planned these attacks in crowded places, targeting public utilities and also VIPs of these cities, the official added.
"The ATS has registered an offence under section 16, 18, 18A, 18B, 20 of the IPC and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against Mirza and six others, who include trainers, facilitators, handlers and a preacher, Kulkarni said.