Five men in Hyderabad have been arrested for being suspected ISIS sympathizers.
Five men in Hyderabad have been arrested for being suspected ISIS sympathizers.

HYDERABAD (Diya TV) — Five men, including a software engineer and his brother were arrested Wednesday in Hyderabad on suspicion of plotting a series of attacks on behalf of the Islamic State terrorist organization.

The five are suspected to be a part of an ISIS cell that was discovered during searches by the National Investigation Agency and police in 10 locations of Hyderabad’s old quarters, home of the iconic Charminar.

The brothers, Mohammed Ibrahim Yazdani and Mohammad Illyas Yazdani, were among 11 individuals who were previously picked up for questioning. They were later placed under arrest along with Habib Mohammed, Muzaffar Hussain Rizwan and Abdullah-Bin-Amoodi. Ibrahim is believed to be the group’s ringleader, officials said the cell has “strong links” to ISIS, but is independent of the previous bases found in India.

Weapons, nitrate-based explosives enough to make several improvised devices, 40 mobile phones, laptops, a pen drive, 32 sim cards and Rs. 15 lakh in cash were seized in the raids.

This was the third of such raids conducted on cells of suspected ISIS sympathizers since last year. The NIA and local police began the raids after reports of multiple planned terrorist attacks on Hyderabad.

“The strikes were necessary because the module had received money, procured weapons to carry out strikes,” said a security officer, adding that the men had organized themselves through using the internet. “IS recruiters then got in touch with them and further directed them,” the officer said.

The Islamic State have struggled to win over recruits in India, home of the world’s third-largest Muslim population. At the beginning of the year, 14 individuals suspected of being ISIS sympathizers were picked up across the country in an anti-terror raid from the NIA. Two of those suspects were also arrested in Hyderabad. Last year, 29 men were arrested for attempting to set up recruitment bases across India, some of which were suspected to have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join ISIS.