Suspect Ahmed Murtaza Abbasi, who attacked the guards of Gorakhnath Temple in Gorakhpur, is affiliated with Deoband, Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terrorist Squad has found out. An ATS team today reached Deoband and took a suspected accomplice of Abbasi into custody while intelligence agencies in the western part of the state have been alerted about other Deobandis’ possible involvement in terrorist activities.
The western parts of Uttar Pradesh have been tense since Abbasi’s links were traced to Saharanpur. After his arrest, the ATS picked another suspect from the Fatehpur police station area who confessed in custody that Abbasi was a regular visitor at the Deoband seminary.
Abbasi is now in the custody of the ATS that has also seized arms and other implicating items from him. The case registered at the Gorakhnath police station has been transferred to the ATS too.
ATS interrogated Abbasi’s close relatives in Deoband too. He had last visited Deoband a few months ago and stayed there for several days.
Investigations by the ATS, Uttar Pradesh Police, STF and intelligence agencies are running on parallel tracks, probing different angles. From the probe so far, it has been learnt that Abbasi had visited Nepal and cities like Mumbai, Coimbatore, Jamnagar and Ghazipur in the country in recent times. Sleuths will visit these places for further investigation.
Abbasi, who attacked PAC Jawan Gopal Gaur and Anil Paswan at the temple in Gorakhpur with a sharp weapon at the southern gate on Sunday evening, is on police remand for seven days. His interrogation began the next day.
Gorakhpur terrorist also a money launderer with Isis connection
The Gorakhpur terrorist had remitted lakhs of rupees to the bank account of banned terrorist organization Isis, the investigators have found.
SSP Saharanpur Akash Tomar confirmed that the Gorakhpur terrorist is in ATS custody. The squad had earlier raided the Civil Lines residence of Abbasi but could not find him. Getting a whiff of the raid, the IIT Bombay-trained Muslim engineer had fled.
The ATS has so far traced four bank accounts and Abbasi’s debit card from which he used to send money to terror suspects and outfits.
According to ATS sources, the Muslim engineer executed in Gorakhpur a plot under the Lone Wolf Attack Module — an attack by an individual terrorist without any team support. Handlers instruct terrorists to use only sharp weapons in such operations.
According to the sources, Abbasi used to check the websites of terrorist organisations besides reading voraciously controversial books and literature. Investigators dug out videos of provocative and religious frenzy from his laptops and mobile phones.
The investigating agencies are trying to ascertain members of a larger Islamist racket who might have facilitated his terrorism.
The police had received information about the misappropriation of funds by him using bank accounts two days before the Gorakhpur incident. It was actually during a probe into Abbasi’s money-laundering activities that he attacked the temple guards.