A Bengal bomber and his southern sojourn: How NIA prevented an imminent terror attack

Source: oneindia.com

New Delhi, July 10: Five fabricated hand grenades, one timer device, three electric circuits, suspected explosive substance, different components for making IEDs/rockets were recovered by the National Investigation Agency, following a confession of a Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh operative, who was arrested in Bengaluru recently.

The recovery comes following the confession of the JMB operative, Habibur Rehman, who is also an accused in Burdwan blast case. The NIA said that these weapons were to be used in various terror acts in different parts of the state.

Rehman was arrested on June 25 in Bengaluru. He had been chargesheeted in the Burdwan blast case. Initially, he was shown as an absconder in the chargesheet.

NIA officials say that they are taking Rehman to various places in South India as they believe that the had travelled to several places with an intention of setting up modules and carrying out terror attack.

In this backdrop, one must re-visit the investigations into the January 2018 Bodhgaya blast. This attack was masterminded by a Bangladeshi terrorist against whom a death warrant was issued.

Secondly, the probe suggests that the incident at Bodhgaya was to rake up the Rohingya cause in India. Thirdly, the probe shows how terrorists from both Bengal and Bangladesh have made south India their playground.

The National Investigation arrested Mohammad Zahidul Islam alias Munna from a hideout near Bengaluru. NIA officials tell OneIndia that his arrest was carried out as investigations showed that he was the mastermind of the Bodhgaya incident.

The NIA got information about Islam following the arrest of Abdul Karim, a resident of Murshidabad and Mustafizur Rehman a resident of Birbhum, West Bengal. The duo were arrested from Mallapuram, when they hiding in a camp meant for Bengali speaking people.

The probe revealed that Islam was familiar with the Mallapuram camp and visited it several times. It was in fact he who made arrangements for the other accused persons to stay in this camp.

The arrest of Islam is a major breakthrough. He is an expert in bomb blasts and officials suspect that he had even trained the other accused in making the IEDs. In fact in Bangladesh, he was involved in several serial blast cases and also the attack on a police van in Trishal. He escaped from Bangladesh in 2014 and entered India through West Bengal, where he stayed for a while before re-grouping his JMB module.

In Bengal, he decided that he should carry out a series of attacks both in India as well as Bangladesh. He was part of the Burdwan module, which was in the process of preparing 500 bombs.

In Bengal, he set up several modules in Burdwan, Nadia and Murshidabad. These were very active modules. Over the past year, he decided to spread his operations down south.

Officials say that his intentions of coming down to south along with his module members was not just restricted to find a safe hiding spot. They were in the process of setting up modules and the JMB already has dedicated sleeper cells in Karnataka, Telangana and Kerala.

The issue he was planning to rake up was the cause of the Rohingyas, who are in good numbers in Hyderabad. The JMB has been in touch with several Rohingyas spread across the various camps in India. Their main target was however the ones in Southern India, an Intelligence Bureau official says.

After his entry into India, his activities went completely unchecked for nearly 4 years. This time was used by Islam to go about the country setting up or re-activating his modules.

When he was arrested in Bengaluru, the NIA recovered from him electronic devices and explosives, which is a clear indicator that he was planning a big attack down south. He had even asked his accomplices in Mallapura to lie low and await instructions, officials also say.

NIA arrests engineer in Ranchi for connection with PLFI

Source: zeenews.india.com

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday arrested an engineer from Ranchi, Jharkhand, for his connection with banned group Peoples’ Liberation Front of India (PLFI). Sources told Zee Media that the arrested engineer identified as Jitendra is an associate of PLFI chief Dinesh Gope. NIA said that Jitendra has been arrested in connection with terror funding and he has been remanded to judicial custody till July 3. Jitendra was arrested from his residence at Ranchi’s posh Prem Nagar area.

NIA sources said that Jitendra used to invest the levy money which was illegally collected by PLFI members. Meanwhile, Jitendra’s brother had rejected the NIA’s claim and said that his brother has nothing do with the PLFI. Sources told Zee Media that Jitendra belongs to a high-profile family.

It may be recalled that in February this year the NIA had conducted raids at 10 locations in Jharkhand and West Bengal in connection with a terror funding case involving the PLFI. At that time, the NIA had raided the residences and offices of close aides and companies associated with Gope in Ranchi, Gumla, Khunti and Kolkata.

The NIA had seized cash approximately Rs 3.41 lakh, incriminating documents pertaining to payments/investment by PLFI chief/cadres in various firms and immovable properties, fake PAN cards and fake identity cards, bank accounts details and fixed deposits, documents showing payments made to the various shell companies, 40 mobile phones and other digital devices containing incriminating information during the raids.

Why do terrorists from Bengal find a safe haven in Bengaluru and Kerala

Source: oneindia.com

New Delhi, June 26: In less than one year, the National Investigation Agency has picked up a terrorist of Bengal origin from Bengaluru, Karnataka.

On Tuesday, an absconding accused in the Burdwan blast case was arrested by the NIA from Doddaballapur near Bengaluru. In August 2018 the NIA had arrested one Mohammad Jahidul Islam alias Kausar from Ramnagara near Bengaluru in connection with the Bodhgaya blasts case.

Both of them belong to the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen, Bangladesh or JMB, a group which is extremely active and also has its roots in West Bengal. It may also be recalled that in January 19 2018, two more persons Abdul Karim and Mustafizur Rehman were arrested from the labour camp of Bengali speaking persons in Mallapuram in Kerala. Both were also of Bengal origin and were wanted in connection with the Bodhgaya case.

When Islam was arrested, the NIA found some electronic devices besides traces of explosives. He is a top leader of JMB in India and is wanted in Burdwan blast case and in many other cases in Bangladesh also. He is the master mind of the Bodhgaya case, the NIA had said.

Tuesday’s arrest from Karnataka is connection with the Burdwan case. The case pertains to a major bomb factory in Burdwan which was busted following an accidental blast. The NIA learnt during the investigation that terrorists of the JMB were preparing bombs in large numbers and had planned on smuggling them into Bangladesh and carry out a series of blasts. The NIA has been probing the case since late 2014 and there are still many absconding accused yet to be arrested.
The accused, Habibur Rehman was arrested from Bengaluru by the NIA.

Rehman was charged in this case for his direct involvement in the conspiracy of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) to wage war against Government of India and Bangladesh.

Rehman was a close associate of senior JMB leader Jahidul Islam alias Kausar. He was also associated with other JMB leaders like Rahamatullah and Moulana Yusuf. He was an active member of JMB, Bolpur Module in West Bengal. He had attended a number of training camps conducted by JMB.

Intelligence Bureau officials tell OneIndia that this is not for the first time that terrorists have come down South to hide. There have been several such instances reported in Kerala and Hyderabad as well. They tend to mix with the migrant population including the Rohingyas and continue to stay on in states such as Telangana, Kerala and Karnataka.

In Mallapuram, the members of the JMB were staying at a camp for a long time which was set up for Bengali speaking people. Even in Karnataka, their activities go unchecked as they tend to mingle with those who have migrated in search of work. There is also a concern with regard to the Rohingyas who have moved to various parts of the country in large numbers, including Karnataka. These terrorists often use such persons as a shield and use such states as a safe haven.

The Bengal-Bengaluru connection is not restricted to terror alone. There has been a dedicated route between these two states which has been busted by the NIA which probing a case relating to fake currency.

The NIA’s Hyderabad wing had in March 2018 arrested Saddam Hussain, a resident of Bengaluru who was found in possession of fake currency to the tune of Rs 26,000.

The NIA team also recovered two demonetised currency notes of the value Rs 1,000. The accused was allegedly circulating fake currency in various parts of his country after obtaining it from his contacts in Mada, West Bengal.

During investigation it was revealed that accused Saddam had travelled to Malda from Bangaluru on the instructions of Amirul Hoque and collected High Quality FICN from Roustam on four occasions.