NIA busts Al-Qaeda module in West Bengal’s Murshidabad, Kerala’s Ernakulam

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New Delhi, 19 Sept 2020: Nine suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists "radicalised" by Pakistan-based operatives were arrested from West Bengal and Kerala on Saturday -morning by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).


The agency, which conducted simultaneous searches in Bengal’s Murshidabad and Kerala’s Ernakulam, claimed that the arrested men were motivated to carry out terror strikes in multiple places, including the National Capital Region.


The module also allegedly had plans to go to Kashmir for weapons delivery. They were also attempting to trying to organise an Al-Qaeda network in the country, including in Kashmir and the north-east on the instructions of the Pakistan-based handlers.


Six persons were arrested from West Bengal’s Murshidabad and three from Kerala’s Ernakulam. The arrest came following the agency registering a case on September 11 following inputs that an inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives at various locations in India including West-Bengal and Kerala.


"The group was planning to undertake terrorist attacks at vital installations in India with an aim to kill innocent people and strike terror in their minds," the NIA said.


The NIA said the arrested persons were "radicalised" by Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda terrorists on social media. "For this purpose, 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 terrorist attacks in various parts of the country," the NIA said.


Those arrested from Ernakulam are Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas and Mosaraf Hossen while those nabbed from Murshidabad were Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman. Hasan is the leader of the module.


In the early morning raids, it said, large quantity of 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.


NIA sources said the recoveries also included nuts, bolts to give splinter effect in bomb, battery to provide power to detonator and fire crackers. The module was awaiting instructions from their online handler about who would receive the weapons.


Crackers were being attempted to be converted into an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) and the NIA recovered switches and batteries from Abu Sufiyan’s house during the raids.


Sources said searches were conducted in 11 places in Murshidabad. Those arrested from Murshidabad’s Domkal and Jalangi used to keep a very low profile to detection by law enforcement agencies. The accused were also trying to recruit local youths through social media.


Seeking to score a political point, BJP IT Cell chief Amit Malviya tweeted, "nine Al-Qaeda operatives arrested. Six from Murshidabad in West Bengal while other three from Kerala. Is anyone even surprised to see the two states, where Chief Ministers routinely appease radical elements for electoral gains, on the terror map? It was a Pakistan sponsored module." Bengal and Kerala go to Assembly polls in April-May next year. 



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