The 11 terror suspects arrested in Bangalore and Hubli were in the initial stage of planning attacks, according to a source in the investigation team.
This was revealed during the Intelligence Bureau’s interrogation of the suspects, who had planned to attack politicians and journalists with rightist leanings.
The sleuths are said to have questioned the terror suspects at an undisclosed location in the city for more than seven hours without a break on Saturday.
They focused on extracting information from the suspects about their alleged links with Lashkar- e-Toiba (LeT) and Harkat- ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI), and their strategies to carry out terror attacks.
The suspects are said to have confessed to having links with leaders in Saudi Arabia.
But IB officials, after interrogation, concluded that the suspects were still in the “budding” stage and their plans to attack individuals or to carry out terror strikes were in the preliminary stage, the source said.
“Among the suspects, Shoaib Ahmed Mirza alias Chotu, an MCA student, was in close contact with his handlers in Saudi Arabia. The others are believed to have had only occasionally interacted with them. This came out during interrogation,” the source added.
Meanwhile, a source in the IB confirmed that central agencies had passed on information about the suspects to the city police a few months back.
“We had issued an alert about the suspects’ activities some time ago and had asked the city police to keep tabs on them. Though it is good that they were arrested, it seems that the timing was not right. The police may find it difficult to establish clinching evidence against the suspects to try them in court. They could have gathered more crucial evidence had they arrested them a little later.”