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Gujarat ATS foils 'lone wolf' attack, arrests two brothers for IS links

The Gujarat ATS on Sunday arrested two brothers with suspected ISIS links who allegedly hatched plans to conduct "lone-wolf" attacks in the state.

Wasim Ramodiya and Naeem, who have MCA and BCA degrees respectively, were allegedly in contact with ISIS handlers and were planning to target religious places like Chotila, police said, adding they have recovered bomb-making material from them.

Based on a specific information about their alleged activities "inspired by the jihadi ideology of ISIS", ATS officials nabbed Wasim from Rajkot and his younger brother Naeem from Bhavnagar during an early morning operation, said, officials.

According to Inspector General of Gujarat ATS, J K Bhatt, explosives as well as jihadi literature were found from these suspected ISIS operatives during raids at their residences in Rajkot and Bhavnagar.

"We have been keeping a close watch on them since last three months, as they were found to be in contact with ISIS through Skype and other social media platforms like Telegram, Twitter and Whatsapp. We conducted raids in Rajkot and Bhavnagar and nabbed the duo," Bhatt told reporters in Ahmedabad on Sunday. The investigation has revealed that the two had planned to attack the famous temple at Chotila town of Surendranagar district, ATS ACP B S Chavda said.

"They were on our radar since last three months. When we arrested them, they were in the process of making an improvised bomb to carry out lone-wolf style attacks," he said.

Lone wolf style attacks are those wherein a person prepares and commits violent acts alone without assistance from any group. However, he or she may be influenced by the ideology of an external group and may act in support of such a group.

Arif Ramodiya, the father of the suspects, claimed that he did not have any knowledge about the activities of his sons.

During the raids, police seized computers and mobile phones with jihadi literature and masks to hide their identity during terror attacks, added Bhatt.

They have been charged under IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Explosive Substances Act. They are likely to be produced in a local court of Rajkot on Monday for transit remand.
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