NIA busts inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives

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Nine members of the module were arrested from Murshidabad in West Bengal and three from Ernakulam in Kerala.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has pre-empted possible terror strikes in various parts of the country by busting an inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives at various locations in West Bengal and Kerala early on Saturday, September 19.

Nine members of the module, who are claimed to have been radicalised by a Pakistan-based al Qaeda module, were arrested following multiple raids carried out in West Bengal’s Murshidabad and Kerala’s Ernakulam. Sharp weapons, country-made firearms, a locally fabricated body armour, articles and literature used for making home-made explosive devices have been seized from their possession.

An NIA release said that the arrested men were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places, including the National Capital Region (NCR).

“The module was actively indulging in fundraising & a few members of gang were planning to travel to New Delhi to procure arms and ammunition. These arrests have pre-empted possible terrorist attacks in various parts of the country,” the release said.

“A large quantity of incriminating materials incl digital devices, documents, jihadi literature, sharp weapons, country-made firearms, a locally fabricated body armour, articles and literature used for making home-made explosive devices have been seized from their possession,” said NIA.

Three of the nine Qaeda men were arrested from Ernakulam district have been staying in the state as migrant workers. Kerala Police chief Lokanath Behera confirmed the arrests from Ernakulam that has the highest migrant labourers population in the state. Those arrested are Murshid Hassan, Yakoob Bishwas and Morshraf Hussien.

Kerala Police has found out that Hussien was in Kerala for the past one decade and was working in a textile shop at Perumbavoor, near Aluva. Speaking to the media, a person who was staying with Murshid Hassan said the police came around 2 a.m. and arrested Hassan and also recovered incriminating materials including digital devices, documents, jihadi literature.

"It was during the national lockdown, he started to stay with us. Generally he used to work only for two days a week and rest of the time, he was in the room. We do not know details of him or his family," said the person who was his roommate.

Police has now taken away the mobile of all those staying with Hassan and have asked them to report at the NIA office.

The names of those arrested from West Bengal are Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman. All are residents of Murshidabad.

Image Credit: National Herald

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