'Founding' IM member, an engineer, arrested
A 31-year-old civil engineer, whom the police claim is a founding member and key ideologue of the Indian Mujahideen (IM), was arrested from Bihar by a special team of the Delhi Police on Thursday afternoon.
Arrested from Nalanda's Bihar Sharif area at 3:30pm, Mohammad Tariq Anjuman Hasan, 31, is a civil engineer and was staying in southeast Delhi's Shaheen Bagh area while working at a consultancy firm in the Capital till late November last year.
"He joined the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (Simi) as early as in 1998 after being indoctrinated by the Bhatkal brothers. He was just 19 at the time and pursuing engineering at the Anjuman Engineering College at Bhatkal in Karnataka," said an investigating officer.
Ashok Chand, DCP (crime) confirmed the arrest and claimed that Tariq was the biggest catch in the continuing onslaught against the home-grown terror outfit yet.
The son of a retired teacher, Tariq was working at a consultancy firm in Khirki Extension as a civil engineer before the arrests of six IM operatives triggered his vanishing act and drove him all the way to Nalanda between November and December last year.
"Tariq ran away and sought shelter with a distant relative at his residence in Nalanda's Ahmedganj district," the officer said.
"Though he hasn't been found to be involved directly in organising any terrorist plot, he played a major role in recruiting cadres for the IM, especially its newest Bihar module," the officer added.
Tariq, sources claimed, was among the five men who transformed the small student movement that the Simi had originally been envisaged as into a militant, guerrilla outfit that the IM has now become.
"Sometime in late 2003, a meeting had taken place somewhere near the university where five men decided to form the IM. Tariq, who was studying there, was one of them. The others were Riyaz and Iqbal, who are currently in Karachi, Yasin alias Shahrukh and one Ismail who is absconding," the officer said.
The interrogation of the six IM operatives, nabbed from Chennai's Selayur, gave the police the lead about Tariq, who has turned out to be the biggest logistical master of the IM.
He is adept at computers and in the know of each terror plot executed by the IM since its inception almost a decade ago, sources claimed. He is on remand for 15 days.