NIA arrests 9 Al-Qaeda terrorists from Bengal, Kerala after multiple raids; group had Delhi on radar

NIA arrests 9 Al-Qaeda terrorists from Bengal, Kerala after multiple raids; group had Delhi on radar

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested 9 Al-Qaeda terrorists from multiple locations across West Bengal and Kerala after conducting raids in the two states.

NIA has busted Al-Qaeda modules in Murshidabad of West Bengal and Ernakulam in Kerala and arrested 9 terrorists from the two states. Among the 9 Al-Qaeda terrorists, 3 have been arrested from Ernakulam and 6 have been arrested from Murshidabad.

All accused are said to be in their early twenties and work as labourers. The 9 men have been identified as: Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas and Mosaraf Hossen, currently residents of Ernakulam in Kerala. Kerala Police sources have said the three arrested from Ernakulam were natives of Bengal and were residing in and around Perumbavur, the largest guest workers settlement in Kerala.

Six others arrested from Bengal are Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman, all residents of Murshidabad in West Bengal.

The NIA on Saturday arrested the 9 men with links to Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda after carrying out simultaneous raids at 11 locations in Kerala and West Bengal. The Al-Qaeda terrorists were planning to go to Kashmir for weapon delivery.

The anti-terror probe agency has said, "Preliminary investigation has revealed that these individuals were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda terrorists through social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places including Delhi and the National Capital Region."

NIA spokesperson DIG Sonia Narang said, "The module was actively indulging in fund raising and a few members of the gang were planning to travel to New Delhi to procure arms and ammunition. These arrests have pre-empted possible terror attacks in various parts of the country."

A top official of NIA confirmed that the 9 accused were under surveillance after the agency received inputs on their terror links. NIA had learnt about an inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives operating from various locations in India, including West-Bengal and Kerala.

The group was planning to undertake terror attacks at vital installations across the country with an aim to kill innocent people and spread terror.

Large quantities of incriminating materials, including 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.

The arrested terrorists will be produced before the concerned courts in Kerala and West Bengal for police custody and further investigation.