NEW DELHI: In a major breakthrough, security agencies on Wednesday night arrested Al-Qaida’s Indian finance manager Jafar Masood. The senior operative of AL Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) is part of the Sambhal module that was busted with the arrest of AQIS India head Mohammed Asif from Delhi and Abdul Rehman Kataki from Odisha.
Sources said sustained interrogation of Asif had revealed three senior operatives were part of the AQIS core team. Asif’s phone that was put on surveillance had revealed the AQIS’ extensive network in western Uttar Pradesh. Masood, a close aide to Asif, was trained in Pakistan by Al-Qaida’s Pakistan wing. Security agencies had launched a manhunt for AQIS operatives immediately after the terror outfit’s propaganda arm Al-Shahab released an indoctrination video in September 2014.
They had deployed human assets in pockets vulnerable to Islamist radicalisation. This led them to certain suspects, who were based out of western UP, and whose movements out of India towards West Asian countries put them on the radar.
Sources claimed human assets had penetrated suspected areas in Sambhal , which provided credible information related to the AQIS module in UP and a trap was laid to nab them.
MEA Downplays Parrikar remark
India on Thursday tried to downplay the remarks of Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar on the possibility of India joining a UN-mandated anti-IS operation. “We have participated in peacekeeping operations, but we pick and choose where we need to participate,” said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup.