Who is Shahnawaz alias Shafi Uzzama – suspected ISIS terrorist arrested by Delhi Police?
Shahnawaz alias Shafi Uzzama, a suspected Islamic State or ISIS terrorist who was on the most wanted list of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), has been arrested by the Delhi Police during a major crackdown by the anti-terror agency, news agency ANI reported on Monday.
Shahnawaz was arrested by the special cell of the Delhi Police from a hideout in the national capital.
Four to five people, connected to the module and detained in the matter, are also being interrogated, news agency PTI reported.
Who is Shahnawaz alias Shafi Uzzama?
Shahnawaz is a mining engineer and is believed to have come to the National Capital Region after fleeing Pune and had been living.
Last month, the NIA released pictures of four terror suspects, including that of Shahnawaz, wanted in the Pune ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) module case and declared a reward money of ₹3 lakh each for credible information on them leading to their arrest. The agency has said that the identity of the informant will be kept confidential.
The other three have been identified as Talha Liyakat Khan from Pune, and Rizwan Abdul Haji Ali and Abdulla Faiyaz Shaikh alias Daiperwala, both from Delhi.
Shahnawaz and two others - Mohammad Imran Mohammad Yunus Khan, 23, and Mohammad Yunus Mohammad Yakub Saki, 24, - were arrested by the Kothrud police in Pune on July 18 after they were found attempting to steal a two-wheeler. While the police were taking them to their residence at Kondhwa in Pune for a search Shahnawaz jumped out of the police vehicle and managed to escape.
On questioning Khan and Saki, the police learned that they were from Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh and were allegedly involved in a terror case registered in Rajasthan after explosives were found in a car in March 2022. They also carried a bounty of ₹5 lakh each, a police officer said.
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) took over the probe on July 22. During further investigation, After Khan and Saki said that Shahnawaz had kept some acid at Bopatghat near Kondhwa, the agency took the help of the Bomb Disposal and Detection Squad and seized the acid and several other chemicals which were used to make bombs.
The ATS also seized several other materials and found 500 GB data in the laptops and mobile phones of the accused which contained links to YouTube videos on making bombs and Google images of various places.
During the investigation, it came to light that a foreign-based handler had possibly put Shahnawaz in touch with Imran and Yunus in February, with instructions to execute a terror strike. After 10-15 days, Shahnawaz allegedly brought the man called Rizwan from Delhi to the module, sources said.
The agency also found out that the gang had visited places in Kolhapur, Sangli and Satara, and sent teams there to check as to what they had planned to do. After the ATS arrested two more accused - Aakif Ateeque Nachan and Zulfikar Ali Barodawala in Thane district - on August 8, the case was handed over to NIA.
During the investigation, the NIA came to light that a foreign-based handler had possibly put Shahnawaz in touch in February, with instructions to execute a terror strike.