Two suspected Islamic States operatives were on Wednesday arrested by the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad, which claimed that they were plotting an attack on a Jewish synagogue in Khadia area of Ahmedabad in 'very near future'.
The suspects, arrested in Surat, have been identified as Mohammad Kasim Stimberwala and Ubed Ahmed Mirza, an official said.
While Stimberwala used to work as a laboratory technician with a hospital in Ankleshwar town, Mirza is a practicing lawyer with the Surat district court and also owns a hotel there.
They were booked under Indian Penal Code sections 120-A (criminal conspiracy), 121-A (waging or attempt to wage war against Government of India) and 125 (Waging war against any Asiatic power in alliance with Government of India) of the IPC, besides under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the official said.
As per the first information report registered by the ATS, the duo have been radicalised by the ideology of Islamic State and were planning to carry out a 'lone-wolf' attack on the synagogue, for which Stimberwala had visited Ahmedabad and conducted a recce of the Jewish centre located in Khadia area.
ATS sleuths believe that Srimberwala and Mirza are 'highly radicalised by the fundamental ideology of the Islamic State for the last many years and are actively planning to cause terrorist acts'.
Both the suspected operatives of the IS were under the influence of Abdullah el-Faisal, a radical preacher based in Jamaica, the official said quoting the first information report.
As per the FIR, el-Faisal was earlier convicted for spreading hatred in the UK and then deported to Jamaica. He was detained in Jamaica on the charges of persuading youths to travel to Syria to take up the cause of Jihad.
Surveillance of their social media accounts had revealed that the duo were attracted to the extreme ideology since the last three-four years, according to the FIR.
They were also in contact with one Shafi Armar, an IS handler who is wanted in various cases of serial blasts triggered by Indian Mujahideen (IM) and is currently believed to be out of India, the official said.
ATS suspects that both the accused were making 'intensive efforts to radicalise other youths in India using various mediums, such as social media, one-on-one meetings and telephonic calls'.
Meanwhile in Kannur, three men with suspected IS links were arrested on Wednesday, police said.
The trio, who had left the state years ago, were suspected to have visited Syria and reportedly received training from the terror outfit, they said.
"Three persons, Mithilaj, Abdul Razzak and Rashid, in the age group of 25 and 30, were arrested around 3 pm for their links with the IS," Deputy Superintendent of Police,Kannur, Sadanandan said.
"They have been arrested based on an evidence obtained after examining their phone calls. Further interrogation is going on," he said.
The three hail from Chakkarakkal and Valappattinam in the district and had returned from Turkey recently, the police said.
The National Investigation Agency has been probing cases of disappearance of at least 21 people who had left the state under mysterious circumstances over a period of time and are suspected to have joined the IS.
Among them, 17 were from Kasaragod and four from Palakkad. They include four women and three children.