INVESTIGATIONS following the arrest of two alleged terrorists in Lucknow on Sunday, have revealed that Kanpur is a major hub of terror activities. ATS sources claimed that the interrogation of Maseeruddin and Minhaz Ansari has revealed that the two were frequenting madarasas in Nai Sadak and Chamanganj localities in Kanpur where some other members were being trained for terror activities. It was mainly from here that they were in touch with their handler Umar Halmandi whose location is on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Halmandi governs the Indian module of the Al-Qaeda. “Similar activities were being held in about two dozen locations in Kanpur. Youths from Rehmani market were supplying SIM cards and mobile phones to them. They have also been detained for questioning,” said an official. Sources said that the arrested men had initially planned to trigger serial blasts in May but the plan was put off due to the lockdown. Meanwhile, ATS teams are continuing to raid various locations to arrest those who funded and provided logistical support to Maseeruddin and Minhaz for their proposed strike.
The ATS will soon take the two to Kanpur for further investigations and will also bring them face to face with other suspects. It may be recalled that working on a tip off, the ATS had arrested Maseeruddin and Minhaz Ansari from a house in Kakori area on the outskirts of Lucknow on July 11, after a seven-hour operation. The ATS team recovered a huge amount of explosives, firearms and live pressure cooker bombs from the house. The parents of Minhaz Ansari and other family members were also detained after the operation but were released after a five-hour interrogation.