Three suspected al Qaeda operatives were arrested in Madurai on Monday during raids conducted by the National Investigation Agency. The men were plotting to kill 22 Indian leaders including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, PTI reported. Officials said the accused had also sent threats to various embassies in the country.

The suspects have been identified as M Khareem, Asif Sultan Mohammed and Abbas Ali who were arrested while in possession of explosive material from Usmannagar, G R Nagar and Ismailpuram respectively, the news agency reported.

Police officials said the NIA was tipped-off about the presence of the suspected al Qaeda operatives in Tamil Nadu. The three accused were also reportedly responsible for several blasts that occurred in various courts across the country. Officials are on the lookout for two other suspects, Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman.