Jamshedpur has come under the police scanner after investigation agencies stumbled upon leads linking arrested al-Qaeda-India (AQ-I) operator Abdurr Rehman Kataki with AQ-I chief Md Asif and terrorists involved in a suicide attack at Glasgow Airport on June 30, 2007.
According to sources, Asif and Abdurr had close links with Bangalore-based terrorist Kafeel Ahmad, killed in that suicide attack, and his brother Shabil. Kafeel and Shabil’s sister is married to a man from Jamshedpur.
“Kafeel’s sister’s nikahnama (marriage paper) shows one Zeeshan Ali from Jamshedpur as her husband. Abdur Rehman has been an acquaintance of Kafeel and his brother Shabil Ahmad. Abdurr Rehman has been visiting Ranchi, Jamshedpur and Lohardaga regularly and delivering provocative speeches,” RP Sharma, commissioner of police (Bhubaneswar-Cuttack), told HT.
The couple is presently believed to be in Saudi Arabia and the police are trying to verify if the marriage took place in Jamshedpur. “We are also searching for other relatives and local links of Asif, Abdurr Rehman and Shabil in Jamshedpur,” a top official said.
Kafeel had died when he, along with Bilal Abduallh, drove a jeep loaded with propane canisters through the glass doors of the Glasgow International Airport terminal and set the jeep ablaze. Bilal was caught and is serving a life term in jail.
The Odisha police on December 16 arrested Abdurr Rehman Kaataki in Cuttack after a special cell of the Delhi Police, which recently arrested Md Asif, shared intelligence inputs with them.
A three-member team of Odisha Police has visited Ranchi, Lohardaga and Jamshedpur after it came to light that about 70 students from Jharkhand were studying in the Madrassa run by Adburr Rehman in Cuttack.
Jharkhand additional director general of police (ADGP-Operation) SN Pradhan told HT that Abdurr has been visiting Jharkhand since 2008 and suspected to have delivered hate speeches to radicalize the youth. “He came to Chanho immediately after a communal clash. We are collating the information received so far and will finalise the plan of action in a day or two in consultation with Delhi and Odisha police,” added Pradhan.
A team of Odisha and Delhi police is expected to visit steel city soon but officials refused to divulge further details.
Police sources said Abdurr had sent a youth from Jamshedpur to Pakistan for terrorist training in 2014 and at least half a dozen youths were regularly in touch with him.
Jamshedpur senior superintendent of police (SSP) Anup T Matthew told HT that they were in constant touch with all the agencies. “We are working on the leads provided to us to locate relatives and local links,” said Matthew.