The National Investigation Agency arrested nine suspected Al Qaeda militants from locations in West Bengal and Kerala on Saturday, NDTV reported. The investigation agency conducted raids in West Bengal’s Murshidabad and Kerala’s Ernakulam districts.
“NIA had learnt about an inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives at various locations in India including West-Bengal and Kerala,” a statement from the agency read. “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 suspected militants have been identified as Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas, Mosaraf Hossen (from Ernakulam) and Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman (from Murshidabad). They will be produced before courts in West Bengal and Kerala on Saturday.
The suspected militants were planning to carry out terror attacks in different parts of India, including the National Capital Region, News18 reported quoting unidentified officials. The officials claimed that the individuals were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda militants on social media to carry out attacks. The module had been raising funds and some of them were planning to travel to New Delhi to procure arms and ammunition.
“Large quantity 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 NIA said.
In August, the Delhi Police had arrested a man with suspected links to the Islamic State terror group after a brief gunfight. The police have stepped up vigil in the city and security checks have been intensified along Delhi’s border with Noida in Uttar Pradesh.
The same month, the National Investigation Agency arrested an ophthalmologist at a college in Bengaluru for allegedly “furthering activities” of Islamic State Khorasan Province, a branch of the Islamic State terrorist group. The NIA said Abdur Rahman was developing a medical and weaponry-related online application for Islamic State members.