Bengaluru police seek NIA assistance to probe terror suspects

Published on Jul 29, 2022 12:28 AM IST

On Monday, sleuths of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested Adil alias Zuba from Tamil Nadu’s Salem. This arrest was based on details provided by the first suspect, Akthar Hussain, who was on a central intelligence agency’s watch and arrested on Sunday evening by the CCB from Bengaluru’s Tilak Nagar area.

Karnataka police have sought assistance of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after evidence suggested that two suspects under their custody were planning to carry out suicide attacks in the country. (Representative Photo)
Karnataka police have sought assistance of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after evidence suggested that two suspects under their custody were planning to carry out suicide attacks in the country. (Representative Photo)
By, Bengaluru

Karnataka police have sought assistance of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) after evidence suggested that two suspects under their custody were planning to carry out suicide attacks in the country.

On Monday, sleuths of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) arrested Adil alias Zuba from Tamil Nadu’s Salem. This arrest was based on details provided by the first suspect, Akthar Hussain, who was on a central intelligence agency’s watch and arrested on Sunday evening by the CCB from Bengaluru’s Tilak Nagar area.

According to officers in the know the development, investigators have found evidence to suggest that they were planning to carry out terror attacks.

A top police officer, who didn’t want to be named, told HT that NIA’s help sought after investigators found that the suspects were in touch with al-Qaeda operatives using Snapchat, an instant messaging application. They tried to establish contacts in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan and attempting to organise Muslim youth on Telegram and motivate them to carry out sabotage activities, said the officer.

“We have found some evidence that they were in touch with al-Qaeda and wanted to become suicide bombers. We are now trying to verify this claim and help of central agencies will be sought for the same,” said the officer.

Bengaluru police commissioner Pratap Reddy said interrogation of the suspects were underway. “There were inputs from a central agency that’s how the arrests were made. We have collected evidence regarding members of the radicalised groups in Bengaluru. An FIR has been registered in connection with the case. We can’t reveal any more details. We will provide the details after we present the facts before court,” said Reddy.

CCB officials said Akthar has been booked under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including charges of waging war against the country and under the sections of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. “We are working closely with a central agency to probe if there are more links to this network. We hope to get more information from the interrogation,” he said.

The prime suspect in the case, 23-year-old Akhtar, a native of Assam was allegedly radicalised after watching videos and browsing radical content on the internet. After his arrest, the CCB produced him before a special court that remanded him to 10 days’ police custody.

According to a statement issued by the home minister’s office, “Bengaluru police have taken a suspected terrorist into custody and are interrogating him. His accomplices are also being questioned in this regard. Recently, city police arrested a man from Okalipuram who was connected with a terrorist outfit in Kashmir.”

A CCB official said Akthar came to Bengaluru seven months ago and started working as a delivery partner at an online food delivery app. During this time, he was in constant touch with various organisations through social media sites and instant messaging apps. He had allegedly shown his interest in jihad, and he even planned to join an outfit in Kashmir soon, the official added.

On Sunday evening, around 30 police personnel raided Akhtar’s house and detained him. Police also conducted a search at his house for an hour and reportedly found evidence, particulars of which were not shared by the CCB.

In another incident, a 32-year-old man has been arrested for alleged links to militant organisation ISIS after being grilled by the NIA for more than 10 hours, police said.

Tamil Nadu police on Wednesday arrested Asif Muzabdin, 32, from Erode North for suspected association with the terrorist movement.

Based on inputs, the NIA raided a house at Manickampalayam Housing Unit, a suburb of Erode, on Tuesday night and detained Muzabdin and his friend Yasin (33) for interrogation.

The NIA personnel along with local police conducted the inquiry for more than 10 hours with the duo and the central agency verified the laptops, mobile phones and other documents seized from his house. The agency found that Asif has close contact with the ISIS network.

Based on a complaint lodged by the NIA, Erode North Police arrested Muzabdin after registering a case under Sections 121, 122 and 125 of the Indian Penal Code and 17, 18A, 20, 38 and 39 of the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1967. He was produced before a judicial magistrate and remanded to custody.

(With inputs from PTI)

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Arun Dev is an Assistant Editor with the Karnataka bureau of Hindustan Times. A journalist for over 10 years, he has written extensively on crime and politics.

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