NEW DELHI: The Indian security agencies successfully thwarted a terror attack by the Islamic State in New Delhi through a high-scale counter-intelligence operation. The Indian officials reportedly infiltrated into the close ring of the Islamic State and busted its plans to attack Delhi, as per a report in the Indian Express.
The Islamic State operative lived in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar as an engineering student. He was befriended by an Indian ‘plant’ who supplied explosives, without any triggers, and even arranged for an accommodation in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar.
He was arrested by Indian agencies in September 2017 and was flown to Afghanistan. He is reportedly in custody at a key US military base in Afghanistan. His confessions are reportedly been seen as one of the possible reasons which led to the recent successes of the US forces against the Taliban in Afghanistan.
The information of the IS ring planning attacks in India was uncovered through an 18-month-long surveillance operation in Afghanistan, Dubai and New Delhi. Intelligence agencies found that a group of 12 IS operatives had been trained in Pakistan and were being sent to carry out bomb attacks.
The 20-odd-year-old Afghan national who was sent to Delhi for the suicide attack got himself enrolled in a private engineering college on the outskirts of Delhi and initially lived in the institute’s hostel.
He was closely monitored by a team of at least 80 Indian investigators and security personnel who ensured that he was never out of sight. It is also being reported that the type of explosives he had sought for Delhi were similar to the ones used in the blast at Manchester arena in UK that killed 23 people in May 2017.
The Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) found a link when they tracked a suspicious transfer of $50,000 by individuals from Dubai to a location in Afghanistan. Connecting the dots leading to a possible attack in Delhi, Indian intelligence agencies decided to infiltrate the IS ring. A suitable candidate was chosen to befriend the Afghan national.
The IS operative reportedly visited the Delhi Airport, Ansal Plaza mall, a mall in Vasant Kunj and South Extension market, among other places in Delhi as part of the recce for the attack. He was sending his feedback on a regular basis to his handlers in Afghanistan.
US agents were also reportedly part of the interrogation of the arrested IS operative along with Indian counter-intelligence experts.