Mangaluru Blast accused of being inspired by Islamic State, explosives found in house: cops

Mangaluru Blast accused of being inspired by Islamic State, explosives found in house: cops
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–>Mangaluru, Karnataka:

The accused in the explosion of a rickshaw in Mangaluru, on the coast of Karnataka, was “inspired by the Islamic State terrorist group” and used the dark web to contact his handlers, says the police today, claiming a big breakthrough. Karnataka Police said Shareeq worked under several handlers, including one from Al Hind, an Islamic State-influenced terror group.

A resident of Shivamogga district, Shareeq was carrying the improvised explosive device (IED) in a pressure cooker in an autorickshaw on Saturday when it exploded, leaving him with severe burns. He is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital in the city.

“…Our priority is to ensure that he survives, we have to get him to a stage where we can question him,” said Alok Kumar, a state police official.

Police called the explosion “an act of terror with the intent to cause serious damage”.

The accused made bombs in his home and even conducted a “test explosion” by a river, added the policeman.

“The immediate handler of Shareeq was Arafat Ali, an accused in two cases. He was in contact with Mussavir Hussain who is an accused in the Al-Hind module case. Abdul Matin Taha was one of the main managers of Shareeq. 2 -3 other managers also worked with Shareeq but they have not yet been identified,” Mr. Kumar said.

Police have so far carried out searches at five locations in Karnataka, including his home in Mysuru where materials used to make bombs were seized, he said.

“Shareeq was pushed by ISIS ideology and blew up his house. On September 19, Shareeq and two other accomplices carried out a bomb attack in a riverside forest in Shivamogga,” the police officer said.

Police arrested two of his accomplices the following day but Shareeq managed to escape and took a rented house with a stolen Aadhaar card in Mysuru and continued making bombs, police added.

“We have formed five different teams and they are working on it. Four places in Thirthahalli town of Shivamogga district and one place in Mangaluru town were searched this morning. Yesterday two places were searched. So we searched seven locations and seized a few electronic devices,” the senior police officer said.

A man has been detained in Coimbatore for his alleged links to Shareeq. The man, Tamil Nadu police sources told NDTV, stayed with Shareeq in a dormitory and also gave him his Aadhaar card to get a SIM card.

“We have probed him and verified the circumstances under which he stayed with him. He appears to be innocent. We have shared the information with Mangaluru Police,” an investigator told NDTV.

Tamil Nadu Police also launched investigations after it emerged that Shareeq visited several locations in the state days before the blast. From Tamil Nadu, Shareeq traveled to Kerala, where he allegedly received a shipment via Amazon, NDTV has learned.

Special teams have been formed to investigate whether he had met or had any connection with Jameesha Mubin, the main defendant in the recent car explosion case in Coimbatore. Police invoked sections of the strict UAPA anti-terrorism law in the Coimbatore car explosion after 75kg of explosive raw materials were seized from the home of Jameza Mubin, who died in the blast.

Although police confirmed that Shareeq and Jameza Mubin were ISIS sympathizers, they found no connection between the two.

Shareeq reportedly suffered 45% burns from the rickshaw explosion. Although he is out of danger, police say he is not well enough to give a statement.

Police said he was carrying a low-intensity improvised explosive device or IED. A burnt pressure cooker fitted with batteries was found inside the vehicle.


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