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SOURCE: PTI

Four suspected terrorists arrested here have told the investigators that their Pakistan-based handler was going to give them the exact location and time to carry out the attack after they collected the weapons dropped for them in Ahmedabad, an official said Tuesday.

The Gujarat Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested four Sri Lankan nationals from Ahmedabad airport on Sunday night after they landed here to carry out terrorist activities at the behest of Islamic State following the directions of their Pakistan-based handler.

The ATS had also seized three pistols and cartridges abandoned at a location in Ahmedabad on the basis of geo coordinates found on a mobile phone seized from their possession.”So far during the interrogation, they have refused to reveal as to where exactly they were planning to carry out the terrorist attack,” Superintendent of Police (SP), ATS, Sunil Joshi told media persons.

All they have said so far is that their handler was going to inform them about the exact location and time of the target after they collected the weapons,” he said.The terrorists were taken into a 14-day police remand and were being questioned by the ATS officials regarding their plans. The investigating agency was also trying to find out about the persons who were supposed to help them in India in meeting their objectives, Joshi said.

“Forensic extraction of data of their phone devices is underway. Details are being sought from the communication applications found on their mobile phones, through which they stayed in touch with their Pakistani handler,” Joshi said.He said that drop points on their mobile phones were also being technically analysed and effort being made to find out if there were others who were supposed to help them carry out their objective.

Joshi said that since the accused persons are from another country and arrived in Ahmedabad via Tamil Nadu, police of other states and central investigation and intelligence agencies have also joined the probe.The accused, identified as Mohammad Nusrat (35), Mohammad Faarukh (35), Mohammad Nafran (27) and Mohammad Rasdeen (43), had taken a flight from Colombo and reached Chennai on Sunday morning and took another flight to Ahmedabad, where they landed around 8 pm that day.

Talking to reporters on Monday, Director General of Police Vikas Sahay said the men travelled to India to carry out terror activities at the behest of the Islamic State.He said the ATS team has also recovered three Pakistan-made pistols and 20 cartridges lying abandoned at a location in the city’s Nana Chiloda area based on geo-coordinates and photographs found on the mobile phone seized from the accused.

According to Sahay, it is suspected that the men were allegedly directed by their Pakistani handler to collect these weapons.The men told the investigators that they were earlier associated with the banned Sri Lankan radical militant outfit, National Thowheeth Jamath (NJT), and joined the IS after getting in touch with Pakistani handler Abu Bakr Al Bagdadi.

The men were booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act.