A suspected Pakistani national arrested from Kashmir and described by the government as a “big terror catch” had crossed over to India to attack security forces and fuel more unrest in the valley, counter-terror officials said on Thursday.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been asked to take up the case against the terror suspect, Bahadur Ali, who was arrested on Tuesday following an encounter with security forces in Kupwara district. Four other terrorists were gunned down.
“The NIA registered a case on Wednesday and Ali was brought to Delhi late last night. A multi-agency interrogation of Ali is on at a safe house in the national capital,” said an NIA official who spoke on the condition of anonymity given.
The terror suspect was on a fidayeen or suicide mission in Kashmir which has witnessed a wave of violence after security forces gunned down Burhan Wani, a poster boy of the militant Hizbul Mujahideen in the valley.
Minister of state for home Kiren Rijiju termed Ali a “big terror catch” and hinted at using his confession to nail Pakistan.
A counter-terror official said the suspect was trained by the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) at its Baitul camp.
“Ali was drawn to jehadi ideology at a young age. He stopped studying after class four,” the official added.
The official said Ali’s journey to terror was not very different from Mohammad Naveed Yakub, a 22-year-old from Pakistan’s Faisalabad city who joined LeT at a young age after getting indoctrinated at a local mosque.
Naveed was arrested on August 5 last year after he, along with another suicide attacker, tried to attack a BSF bus in Udhampur area of Jammu and Kashmir.
Since Naveed, Bahadur Ali is the fourth Pakistan terror suspect to be captured alive in Kashmir.