How R&AW Infiltrated Group Of Pakistan-Trained Islamic State Terrorists Tasked To Carry Out Attack In Delhi

How R&AW Infiltrated Group Of Pakistan-Trained Islamic State Terrorists Tasked To Carry Out Attack In  DelhiA house in Bartella with the ISIS flag painted on the wall. (Joseph Galanakis/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In September 2017, India’s external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing, arrested an Islamic State (IS) terrorist of Afghan origin tasked to carry out an attack in Delhi, The Indian Express has reported.

According to the report, Indian intelligence agencies carried out an 18-month-long surveillance operation in Afghanistan, Dubai and New Delhi to infiltrate the group and derail its plan of a suicide blast in Delhi. The group flashed on the radar of the Indian agencies when the R&AW tracked a suspicious transfer of $50,000 by individuals under their watch from Dubai to a location in Afghanistan.

One member of the group, who was tasked to carry out a suicide bombing in the national capital, got himself admitted to a private engineering college on the outskirts of the city. While he initially lived in the college hostel, reports say he moved into a ground-floor apartment in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar after a few days.

The IS saboteur had visited the Delhi Airport, Ansal Plaza mall, a Vasant Kunj mall as well as the South Extension market to identify a place for the attack and gave constant feedback to his handlers.

After telephone intercepts alerted the agencies of the arrival of the bomber in New Delhi, the R&AW picked one of its operatives to befriend the Afghan. The operative not only located the Lajpat Nagar safehouse for the Afghan, but also supplied the consignment of explosives and improvised devices for the attack. However, these items were supplied to the terrorist without triggers.

At the peak of the operation, the intelligence agencies had deployed 80 Indian investigators and security personnel for “physical surveillance”. The IS operative is currently in custody at a key US military base in Afghanistan.