The National Investigation Agency (NIA) busted Pakistan-sponsored Al Qaeda modules in Murshidabad, West Bengal and Ernakulam, Kerala and nabbed 9 terrorists on Saturday. Raids were conducted at multiple locations in Murshidabad and Ernakulam early morning. After these raids, 9 arrests were made including six from West Bengal and 3 from Kerala.
All accused are said to be in their early 20s and work as labourers. Six arrested from Bengal have been identified as Leu Yean Ahmed, Abu Sufiyan, Najmus Sakib, Mainul Mondal, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman, while the other three arrested from Kerala have been identified as Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas and Mosaraf Hossen, according to an India Today report.
The central agency had received inputs about an inter-state module of Al Qaeda operatives planning terrorist attacks targeting Delhi, Mumbai and Kochi and were actively raising funds for the purpose, according to NIA officials. Based on these inputs, the NIA registered a case on September 11, 2020, and initiated a probe. An official confirmed that the nine accused were placed under surveillance after NIA received inputs on their terror links.
Four out of the nine terrorists arrested by the NIA were planning to go to Kashmir for weapons delivery on the instruction of their Pakistani handlers, with whom they were in direct contact. "As per the preliminary investigation, these individuals were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al Qaeda terrorists on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places including the National Capital Region," as per an ANI report.
The NIA has recovered large quantities of incriminating material like digital devices, jihadi literature, sharp weapons, country-made firearms, locally fabricated body armour, articles and literature for making homemade explosive devices from terrorists. The arrested terrorists will be produced before concerned courts in Kerala and West Bengal for police custody and further investigation.
(Edited with agency inputs)