BENGALURU: The Jamaat-ul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), the banned terror outfit, had set up 20-22 hideouts in Bengaluru from 2014 to 2018, according to the National Investigation Agency. “The NIA has busted around 22 hideouts of the Bangladeshi militant outfit in the City and its suburbs in this period and has arrested three of its top cadres in the last one year,” an NIA officer told this newspaper. “Two others have fled to Bangladesh following the crackdown,” he added.
“The JMB, India module, had made Bengaluru their hub for regrouping, recruitment and strategising after they had escaped from Burdwan in West Bengal following the blast in October 2014. The NIA has arrested the top cadres of JMB -- Najir Sheikh alias Patla Anas, Habib-ur-Rehman and Jahidul Islam alias Kausar alias Aijul Mondal -- from the City and its suburbs against whom the agency had declared a huge reward following the Burdwan blast,” he added.
“The trio was on the run since 2014 and was living in anonymity in and around Bengaluru. Kausar is the head of JMB, India, and is the alleged mastermind behind the Bodhgaya blast in 2013. He had masked his identity as a petty salesman and was living in Ramanagaram, when he was arrested in August 2018,” said the officer.
The NIA in June had recovered two improvised explosive devices from a canal near the Ramanagaram railway track. On July 7 the agency recovered five fabricated hand grenades, one timer device, three electric circuits, suspected explosive substance, components used for making IEDs and rockets and several incriminating material from a rented house in Soladevanahalli area in north Bengaluru based on leads provided by Rehman,” said the officer.
“Kausar had led the NIA officers to places where he had stayed in Bengaluru --at Attibele, Kadugodi, KR Puram, Chikkbanavara, Shikaripalya and Electronic City.
He later took the NIA team to some places in Krishnagiri hill in Krishnagiri District on Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border, from where he and his other JMB accomplices - Habibur, Arif, Fahim alias Fahad -- had test- fired three rocket shells prepared by them using a crude device during June and October 2017,” the officer said.
“Kausar had travelled to Pune, Pakkur in Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu to recruit and radicalise more youths to expand their network. Rehman, who was arrested from Doddaballapur in June this year, was raising funds for the sleeper cell by indulging in dacoity and other crimes. Najir was heading the Bengaluru module. He was arrested from Agartala on August 26,” the officer added.”These men were actively involved in raising funds by committing dacoities in Bengaluru,” the NIA officer added.