On Tuesday, the 1st of August, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) busted the terror network of Al Quaeda and arrested three highly radicalised men from Rajkot. The security agency also recovered a weapon from their possession. The arrested accused have been identified as Abdul Shukur, Aman Malik, and Saif Nawaz. The Police officials stated that the three accused hail from West Bengal.
According to the officials, the terror suspects worked in the jewellery industry and had been under surveillance for some time. They were allegedly running the Al Qaeda terror network in Gujarat.
Speaking with The Indian Express, a senior ATS officer said, “The three accused are highly radicalised individuals. We recovered a semi-automatic pistol, 10 cartridges, and radical literature from their possession.” The ATS officials asserted that the accused were planning some terror-related activity.
The officials said, “The suspects were also in touch with foreign handlers. They had acquired a pistol and ten rounds of ammunition. We suspect that they were planning to commit some terror-related activity.”
The three accused were in touch with operatives of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), a banned terrorist organisation with links to Al Qaeda, officials said. JMB is a terrorist organisation banned in Bangladesh, India, and other countries.
The officials stated that the three accused were allegedly involved in the radicalisation of youth and recruiting people through the Internet to join their terror network in Gujarat.
The ATS is currently interrogating all three terror suspects. Later, they will be taken to Ahmedabad where the ATS will produce them before the court and seek their remand.
The arrests are part of an ongoing probe by ATS in connection with four Bangladesh nationals who illegally entered the country. According to a statement by ATS, it was alleged that the four accused were trying to radicalise local youth in Ahmedabad and collecting money.
Gujarat’s ATS crackdown against Illegal Bangladeshi and Al-Qaeda terror module
On 11 July, the Gujarat ATS and Surat Crime Branch jointly launched an operation to arrest a Bangladeshi national in Surat.
The arrested accused allegedly had links with Al-Qaeda. The preliminary investigation revealed that the arrested suspect was a member of a different Al-Qaeda module than the suspects detained on May 21 in Ahmedabad.
However, the handler of the accused arrested in May and those arrested in July were the same. According to reports, the accused were guided by handlers named Shariful Islam and Shayba.