Nine Al Qaeda terrorists were arrested this morning as multiple raids were carried out in Kerala and Bengal, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said. The raids were conducted in West Bengal's Murshidabad and Kerala's Ernakulam.
"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," an official statement by the probe agency read.
While six terrorists were arrested from Bengal, three terrorists were arrested from Kerala in the early morning raids, it added.
"Large quantity of incriminating materials including digital devices, documents, jihadi literature, sharp weapons, country-made firearms, a locally fabricated body armour, articles and literature used for making home-made explosive devices have been seized from their possession," the NIA said, adding that "these individuals were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda terrorists on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places," including Delhi-NCR.
The module was "actively indulging in fund-raising and a few members of gang were planning to travel to Delhi to procure arms and ammunition," as per the initial investigation.
All the terrorists arrested today - Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas, Mosaraf Hossen, Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman - will be taken to courts in Kerala and Bengal to seek their police custody.