MADURAI: Based on specific intelligence inputs, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), in collaboration with Tamil Nadu and Telangana police on Monday arrested three Al Qaeda suspects from Madurai and Chennai where they were running 'The Base Movement' of the terror outfit. The agencies have also arrested a fourth suspect who is yet to be formally arrested.
The three arrested include Abbas Ali, 27, resident of 11/23, second floor, 4th street, Ismailpuram, Munichalai Road, Madurai. He is VIII standard dropout and worked as a painter. He also runs a library in the name of Darul Ilm at Madurai and Suleiman, 23, presently residing at Chennai. He originally hails from Karimsa Pallivasal, Madurai. He works in a software firm and was the mastermind of the terror gang.
The third arrested person is Samsun Karim Raja is a resident of Viswanatha Nagar, K. Pudur, Madurai. He is a B. Com graduate and runs a chicken broiler shop at Kannimara Koil street in Madurai.
The fourth one apprehended is Mohammad Ayub Ali, 25 and is a resident of Island Nagar, Madurai. He is a Public Liaison Officer for a hearing aid company.
The arrested trio and the apprehended fourth suspect are being questioned jointly by the sleuths of Intelligence Bureau and NIA. They will be taken to Bengaluru for further investigation, a senior NIA official said here.
“In the last 24 hours, in a joint operation with Tamil Nadu police and Telangana police, the investigators of NIA have apprehended four youths for their involvement in the blasts at court complexes. During sustained examination, they have confessed their involvement in these blasts,” the NIA said in a statement.
Searches yielded certain digital devices like mobile phones and hard discs from their possession, the NIA said.
The agencies are searching for two other suspected Al-Qaeda operatives, Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman, agency sources said.
The three arrested accused will be produced before local courts in Chennai and Madurai for seeking transit remand for taking them to NIA Special Court at Bengaluru. The NIA case relating to Mysuru blast case has been registered, the NIA statement added.
A top IB official here said all the three arrested persons were involved in bombing at courts, including Mysore, Chittoor, Kollam, Nellore and Malapuram.
According to preliminary questioning, the trio was allegedly planning to attack 22 top leaders of the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A series of five bomb blasts occurred in South India since April this year. These blasts included the one at vehicle parking at District Court Complex in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh on April 7, 2016, car parking area of CJM Court Complex, Kollam, Kerala on June 15, 2016, Court Complex Mysore, Karnataka on August1, 2016, Nellore, Andhra Pradesh on September 12, 2016 and toilet complex of Judicial Court, Malappuram, Kerala on November 1, 2016.
Subsequently, the Centre had entrusted the Mysore Police Station case no 63/2016 under sections relating to criminal conspiracy, Explosives Act under the IPC and certain provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act among others to the NIA for investigation. The NIA registered the case September 20 vide case number RC-03/2016/NIA/Hyderabad in connection with the blasts at Mysore Court Complex.
The responsibility of the blasts was claimed by an organisation called The Base Movement in its propaganda material circulated through pen drives and pamphlets, left behind at the crime scenes of the blasts at Nellore and Malappuram court premises.