A day after three youths with alleged links to terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed(JeM) were arrested, investigators today said the trio was initially inspired by the dreaded ISIS and later shifted their ideological leaning.
The three were planning terror strikes in Delhi, according to the police.
Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Arvind Deep said that Sajid, believed to be the one heading the ring, was self-radicalised and propagated ideology which was in line with that of the Islamic State(ISIS) until he came in touch with a cyber-entity ‘Talha’.
Investigators believe that Talha is close to JeM head Maulana Masood Azhar, who is wanted by India in connection with 2001 Parliament attack case and the terror strike on Pathankot IAF base in January this year.
However, the manner how they were convinced to shift their leaning from ISIS to JeM and under what circumstances is something that has not come clear yet after 24 hours of interrogation.
Officals privy to the investigation said that Sajid, who was an amateur dancer and had unsuccesfully auditioned for dance reality shows in Delhi, came in touch with the other two accused Sameer and Shakir Ansari through a social networking site.
It was Sajid who introduced Talha to Ansari and was about to get passport for him to travel to Pakistan, officials claimed, adding that their source of funding is yet to be ascertained.
All communication among the accused initially took place through social media before they jumped to secured communication system like chat rooms. They had a Whatsapp group of their own and all 13 persons, of which three have been arrested and 10 detained for questioning, are members there, a senior officials said.
Apart from data shared through internet and an 8 GB pen drive recovered from the possession of the accused, investigators are also scrutinising books which the trio possessed.
The books include Urdu and Hindi titles like Mujahid ki Lalkar, Duniyabhar mein Musalmano ka Katle aam, Tareekh-e-Hind, Jihad ki Sabililah, Apka Mustakbil and hand-writted notes on verses from the Holi Quran, the official said.
The police had claimed to have recovered from Sajid’s residence one live improvised explosive device (IED), one damaged IED and materials like batteries, timer devices, pipes, wires, adhesives and over 250 grams of suspected explosives in powdered form, all sent to a forensic lab now.