New Delhi, July 11: Indian security agencies infiltrated an Islamic State ring to foil the attempt of an IS Afghan suicide bomber to attack New Delhi, said media reports on Wednesday. The operation had the Indian “plant” supplying the operative with explosives and arranging for his stay in the capital, said The Indian Express. While the arrest took place in 2017, top diplomatic and intelligence sources confirmed the details now. The IS operative is reportedly in custody at a US military base in Afghanistan where he was flown to after his arrest. (Also read: Centre Sends NSG Commandos Ahead of Amarnath Yatra)
The report says confessions of this bomber could be a reason behind the successes of US forces against the Taliban in Afghanistan. Sources also told the daily that an 18-month-long surveillance operation in Afghanistan, Dubai and New Delhi revealed that a group of 12 IS operatives were being sent to carry out bomb attacks in the region. One of them, an Afghan national, was given New Delhi as his target for a suicide attack. The man, in his mid-20s, got himself admitted to a private engineering college on the outskirts of the capital. He was renting a ground-floor apartment in Lajpat Nagar. (Also read: Encounter Underway in Shopian)
His questioning revealed that the suicide bomb attack in the Manchester, UK, on May 22, 2017, could have been triggered by a member of the same IS group as his. The operation began with the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) tracking a transfer of $50,000 from Dubai to Afghanistan. This, coupled with intelligence shared by the US about New Delhi being a target, led to the decision to infiltrate the IS.
A candidate was picked to become friends with the Afghan. The Indian operative was the one who found the Lajpat Nagar safehouse for the Afghan. This Indian agent was asked by the IS to arrange for explosives for the New Delhi strike when a multi-agency surveillance ring was thrown around the Lajpat Nagar house, sources told the daily. The Indian agent handed over explosives and improvised devices were delivered to the Afghan without any triggers. Sources said the Afghan’s confessions have helped US forces strike at many Taliban targets in Afghanistan and Pakistan.