The National Investigative Agency (NIA) has busted an alleged Islamic State network that was planning to attack the country by simultaneously exploding multiple homemade improvised explosive devices (IEDS) at different locations on the eve of Republic Day, reported The Hindu. The network was broken up after raids were conducted on Thursday night in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Tumakuru and Rajasthan. Eleven suspected Islamic State recruits were arrested.
The arrests come at a time when the country is on high alert after the French embassy in Bengaluru received a letter cautioning French President Francois Hollande not to visit India for the coming Republic Day parade. The single-page letter, with an Indian map in the background, contains three lines in English language, with the warning. Intelligence Bureau sources told the CNN-IBN that Islamic State may target the Republic Day parade with Paris-style attacks as Hollande is the chief guest of the celebrations.
Even Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh had reviewed the security at the parade and concluded that the threat from Islamic State "is very real", NDTV reported.
According to CNN-IBN, four suspected Islamic State sympathisers were arrested in Bengaluru, one in Mangaluru and one in Tumakuru. The suspect arrested in Mangaluru has been identified as Najmul Huda, a 25-year-old with a diploma in polymer technology, The Hindu reported, adding that four suspects have also been arrested in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, one suspected Islamic State recruit was also arrested in Mumbai. He is being questioned by the NIA and the ATS after investigators found online material implicating him, reported CNN-IBN.
Last week, an anonymous postcard claimed to have been sent by terror group IS threatening to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Parrikar was received at the Goa Secretariat. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on Thursday dismissed it by saying, "It (the threat) was (issued) on a 50 paise postcard."