Man planning to execute lone wolf terror attack on security personnel nabbed in Madhya Pradesh

Sources privy to the ongoing investigations have revealed that the arrested man was highly radicalized by the Indian Mujahideen (IM)-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ideology.
ISIS flag used for representational purposes (File Photo | AP)
ISIS flag used for representational purposes (File Photo | AP)

BHOPAL: An early morning swoop on Thursday by anti-terror squad (ATS) teams at multiple locations in Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa district has led to the foiling of a possible lone wolf attack on security personnel by a motor mechanic highly radicalized by the Indian Mujahideen (IM)-Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) ideology.

The raids led the state police’s anti-terrorism team to 34-year-old Faizan Sheikh in Kanjar Mohalla-Saluja Colony area of the communally sensitive Khandwa town.

According to inspector general (IG-ATS) of MP Police Dr Ashish, “Primary probe has revealed that the arrested man was desperate to execute lone wolf attack on security personnel for which proper recee of security personnel (cops) and kin was being done by him. He was desperate to get enough firepower to execute the lone wolf attacks on security personnel for establishing himself as a bigger Mujahid than IM co-founder Yasin Bhatkal and jailed SIMI and IM terror operative Abu Faisal alias Doctor. He was in touch with gunrunners and SIMI operatives outside MP also.”

Sources privy to the ongoing investigations have revealed that the arrested man was highly radicalized by IM-ISIS ideology and was on the ATS radar for a long time for being in regular touch with members of banned outfit Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).

“Four cellphones, one pistol, live cartridges, literature and videos of various terror outfits, including LeT, JeM, ISIS and IM have been seized from the arrested motor mechanic’s possession. He has been booked under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act-UAPA,” the IG ATS added.

The ongoing probe has also led to social media posts by him, to spread tales, speeches and videos of terrorists of various terror groups and their big terrorist strikes and also videos of training at terror camps across the LoC.

While Faizan has been arrested, some other individuals associated with him in Khandwa town are being grilled by ATS sleuths.

Khandwa town has long been notorious for being the hotbed of banned SIMI and IM operatives as well as ISIS sympathizers.

In May 2023, the West Bengal police arrested from the same southwestern MP district another motor mechanic identified as Abdul Raqib Qureshi for having links with ISIS suspects and operatives arrested from other parts of the country.

Abu Faisal alias Doctor, the self-styled MP head of SIMI (currently jailed at the high security Bhopal Central Jail), is also wedded to a girl from Khandwa town.

Five of the eight alleged SIMI men who were killed by the MP Police in an encounter on Bhopal’s outskirts after the October 31, 2016 Bhopal jailbreak too hailed from Khandwa.

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