Four of the six arrested Al-Qaeda suspects contacted handler via dark web: NIA 

The sleuths of the central agency came to know that the suspects were scheduled to receive automatic firearms and explosives from a remote pocket along the India-Pakistan border in the Valley.

Published: 20th September 2020 07:07 PM  |   Last Updated: 20th September 2020 07:07 PM   |  A+A-

NIA arrests, Al-Qaeda operatives

Suspected al-Qaeda terrorists being produced at a city court for transit remand in Kolkata. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

KOLKATA: Four of the six Al-Qaeda suspects, arrested from Murshidabad on Saturday, were scheduled to travel to Kashmir via Delhi and communicate with their handler in Pakistan, identified as Hafiz, through dark web using onion router, said the NIA officials after interrogating the suspects overnight.

The sleuths of the central agency, who also arrested three others from Ernakulam in Kerala, came to know the suspects were scheduled to receive automatic firearms and explosives from a remote pocket along the India-Pakistan border in the Valley.

The NIA is zeroing in on more suspects in Bengal who were radically motivated by the accused.  "The nine suspects, including two students, used to be members of a WhatsApp group comprising 13 others. The chats history was deleted and the IT experts are working to retrieve it," said an NIA official in Kolkata.

Abu Sufiyan, the tailor, who is suspected to be the mastermind, had set up a madrasa at Raninagar in Murshidabad district. "We learned that he used to raise funds showcasing the madrasa on behalf of the Al-Qaeda’s Bengal module. We will investigate whether more youths were radically motivated in the madarsa," the official added.

The NIA officers will also investigate the classmates of Najmus Sakib, a second-year computer science student in an ITI institute, and another first-year B.A. student Atiur Rehman.

Najmus’s father Nurul Islam was not ready to accept NIA’s allegation. "My son used to be busy in studies and he hardly spent time with anyone in the locality for chitchatting. How can he be linked with a Pakistan based terror outfit," he asked.

Echoing the same, Atiur’s father Tazmuddin Mandal said his son was falsely framed. "He used to teach children in the area. We never saw him shouting at anyone. He was focused on his studies," he said.       

The West Bengal police interrogated the suspects arrested from Murshidabad at the NIA office on Sunday. The officials of the Special Task Force, the Criminal Investigation Department, state Intelligence Branch also interrogated the accused.


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