Mangaluru blast accused inspired by ISIS: Cops

Wednesday 23rd November 2022 05:21 EST

Mangaluru (Karnataka): The accused in the autorickshaw blast in coastal Karnataka's Mangaluru was "inspired by ISIS terror group" and used dark web to contact his handlers, the police said, claiming a big breakthrough. The Karnataka police also said that Shareeq worked under multiple handlers, one of them from Al Hind, a terror outfit influenced by ISIS.

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

"...Our priority is to see that he survives, we have to take him to a stage where we can question him," Alok Kumar, a senior cop in state police, said.

The police had termed the blast "an act of terror with intention to cause serious damage."

The accused made bombs at home and even conducted a "trial blast" on the banks of a river, the police officer added. "Shareeq's immediate handler was Arafat Ali, an accused in two cases. He was in touch with Mussavir Hussain who is an accused in Al-Hind module case. Abdul Matin Taha was one of the main handler of Shareeq. Another 2-3 handlers also worked with Shareeq but they are yet to be identified," Kumar said.

So far, the police have conducted searches at five locations across Karnataka, including his home in Mysuru from where materials used to make bombs were seized, he said. "Shareeq was driven by ISIS ideology and made bomb at his home. On September 19, Shareeq along with two other accomplices carried out a trial blast in a forest on the banks of a river in Shivamogga," the police officer said.

The police arrested two his accomplices the next day but Shareeq managed to escape and took a house on rent with stolen Aadhaar card in Mysuru and continued to make bomb, the police added.

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