A plan hatched by the Islamic State to carry out terror strikes in New Delhi was thwarted by the security agencies after infiltrating into a module of the dreaded terror group, officials said Wednesday.
The IS terror plot was foiled following the arrest of an Afghan suicide bomber, who had been under the surveillance of security agencies for long, in late 2017.
The counter-intelligence operation included an Indian “plant” supplying the IS operative with explosives — without triggers — and even arranging for his accommodation in the capital’s Lajpat Nagar, an official said.
The Afghan IS operative, who enrolled himself in an engineering college on Delhi’s outskirts, was flown to Afghanistan days after his arrest and is said to be now under the custody of the US military in Afghanistan.
He had also helped the US military in its fight against the Taliban in Afghanistan, the official said.
The IS plans to target New Delhi was detected following more than a year of surveillance in Afghanistan, Dubai and India. It was found that a group of 12 IS operatives were being sent to different parts of the world after training in Pakistan to carry out bomb attacks.
The Indian operative was the one who located the Lajpat Nagar safehouse for the Afghan, though initially a third-floor apartment was arranged, this was later changed to a ground-floor apartment, the official said. The Afghan national had done recce of his possible targets such as the Delhi Airport, Ansal Plaza mall, a Vasant Kunj mall as well as the South Extension market.