Kolkata: The NIA’s rapidfire swing into action prevented one of the six Pakistan-aided al-Qaeda operatives from making good his escape during the investigation agency’s nightlong raid of several hideouts in West Bengal’s Murshidabad district.
The National Investigation Agency acted in a supersonic speed as one of the operatives was almost on the run, it came to know during interrogation.
The NIA began a series of interrogation of the six al-Qaeda operatives immediately after a local city court remanded them to six-day NIA custody up to September 24.
The NIA began grilling them before taking them to Delhi for further interrogation as some more investigating agencies and intelligence agents want to quiz them for now.
Sources in the know of the interrogation said one of the operatives, Abu Sufian Mollah, a resident of Raninagar of Murshidabad, learned about NIA’s imminent raid on Friday night and made some calls to his close associates.
The central counter terrorism law enforcement agency was investigating his cell phone calls and details.
The agency was sure that some of the operatives, including arrested Najmus Shakib, had connections with some operatives in Kashmir.
Najmush, a resident of Domkol in Murshidabad, is a computer science student of 2nd year of Domkol College.
Besides six al-Qaeda operatives arrested from West Bengal, the other three arrested from Kochi– Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas and Mosaraf Hossen–also hail from Murshidabad, a district having porous border with Bangladesh.
Abu Sufian Mollah, who was arrested from Raninagar in the nightlong raid on Friday, had been using three cell phones.
Besides the cell phones, the NIA seized a battery box of six volts, which may ignite a detonator, iron vest, two socket bombs and explosive materials.
The NIA then arrested Leu Yean Ahmed from Domkol and seized sharp weapons, a bullet-proof jacket and a tool box of two-wheeler and a country-made gun.
The NIA then on the same night acted like blitzkrieg and arrested four others, one after another.
Moinul Mondal from Madhubona in Jalangi, Atitur Rahman from north Ghoshpara, Al Mamum Kamal from Noadapara in Domkol and Najmus Shjakib from Gangadas para.
The NIA seized many cell phones, SIMs and books and incriminating documents.
The NIA had intercepted a cell phone number and following a GPS tracked them down in West Bengal and Kerala.
Around 12 NIA officials took part in the blitzkrieg, aided by the BSF.NIA had learnt about an inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives at various locations in India, including West-Bengal and Kerala.
The group was planning to undertake terrorist attacks at vital installations in India with an aim to kill innocent people and strike terror in their minds.
Accordingly, NIA registered a case No. RC-31/2020/NIA/DLI on Setember 11 and initiated investigation.
These individuals were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda terrorists on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places, including the National Capital Region.
For this purpose, the module was actively indulging in fund raising and a few members of gang were planning to travel to New Delhi to procure arms and ammunition.
These arrests have preempted possible terrorist attacks in various parts of the country.