Mumbai police arrested a barber from Virar on Saturday after many WhatsApp messages were received late Friday night on the Mumbai Traffic Control Room number, warning of a 26/11-style terror attack in the city.
Mumbai: According to Mumbai police commissioner Vivek Phansalkar, the phone used to issue the threats contained a Pakistan series sim card. The threats are being investigated by three teams from Mumbai’s criminal branch. “We are coordinating with all the central agencies and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS),” the CP stated.
He told a press conference here that the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and city police officers were placed on high alert after receiving the communications.
“Police received messages around 11.30 pm on Friday, which threatened that a 26/11-like attack would be carried out in Mumbai and the city would be blown up. There was a mention of 26/11 attacks terrorist Ajmal Kasab and (deceased) Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in the messages,” He stated.
“It was also mentioned that some of their aides are working in India. Prima facie, the threat messages came from a number that has the country code of Pakistan,” Phansalkar said.
Meanwhile, when HT attempted to call the Pakistan number provided by the police, it was disconnected; however, other journalists who were able to get someone on the line said that the person who answered the phone identified himself as a certain Mohammed Imtiyaz and claimed to be a gardener in Lahore. He told the journalists who called that he didn’t have WhatsApp on his phone and didn’t know how to use it. He informed them he was tired of getting calls from Mumbai journalists.
He assured citizens that their safety and security was their duty, saying that police had taken the messages seriously.
“To investigate the threat messages, necessary steps are being taken. We are concerned about coastal security and are working with the Coast Guard, “He continued.
The ‘Sagar Kavach’ operation has been initiated, and coastal security has been increased, according to the police commissioner.
The process to register the first information report (FIR) at Worli police station is on, Phansalkar said.