India arrests 9 al Qaeda militants planning 'terrorist attacks'

Clay Curtis
September 21, 2020

Kochi: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) stated that more members of Al Qaeda are to be caught.

While six terrorists were arrested from Bengal, three terrorists were nabbed from Kerala.

In the latest raids, the NIA seized sharp weapons, domestically made firearms and locally fabricated body armour. "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 investigation agency said in a statement.

Acting on a tip-off provided by central intelligence agencies, the NIA, with the help of the respective state police force, carried out raids early on Friday at Ernakulam in Kerala and Murshidabad in West Bengal.

Arrested terrorists have been identified as Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas and Mosaraf Hossen, all three residents of Ernakulam.

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Police has now taken away the mobile of all those staying with Hassan and have asked them to report at the NIA office. The arrested terrorists will be produced before concerned courts in Kerala and West Bengal for police custody and further investigation.

Those arrested "were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places", including the region around the capital. NIA had arrested nine Al Qaeda terrorists, including 3 from Kochi, the other day.

NIA said that the group is suspected to be in possession of weapons and is actively raising and collecting funds for the goal of procurement of arms and ammunition and that all members appear to be highly radicalized and motivated to commit terrorists to further their Jihadi ideology and activities. The plans included travelling to Kashmir for delivering the weapons.

The arrests set off a political slugfest in West Bengal and Kerala with the Congress and the BJP targeting the ruling parties-Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the CPI (M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF)-in the respective states. Based on these inputs, the NIA had registered a case on September 11, 2020, and initiated investigations. It is reported that the remaining accused will also be taken to New Delhi on Sunday. Boxes of crackers, switches and batteries, which NIA said were being used to assemble an IED, were recovered from accused arrested Abu Sufiyan's house in Murshidabad. However, these pre-empted arrests could have stopped the attacks.

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