Averting another possibility of a major terror attack, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday arrested 9 Al Qaeda operatives in raids conducted at multiple locations in Murshidabad in West Bengal and Ernakulam in Kerala.

The NIA conducted simultaneous raids at multiple locations in Ernakulam and Murshidabad early morning today in which nine arrests were made, six from West Bengal and three from Kerala, according to the probe agency.

The arrested individuals include Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas, Mosaraf Hossen (all from Ernakulam), and Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal, and Atitur Rehman (Murshidabad residents).

After the arrest, the NIA said that the arrests have pre-empted a possible terrorist attack in several parts of the country. The central agency also said that the inter-state module was actively indulging in fundraising campaigns and was planning to travel to New Delhi to procure arms and ammunition.   

The NIA had received inputs about an inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives at various locations in the country who were planning to undertake terrorist attacks at vital places with the aim to kill innocent people and create terror. Based on these inputs, the NIA had registered a case on September 11, 2020, and initiated investigations.

“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,” an official statement by the NIA reads. 

A large number 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 the possession of the apprehended, the NIA said. 

The NIA in its preliminary investigation revealed that the Al Qaeda terrorists, using the social media, radicalised these individuals and motivated them to undertake terror attacks at multiple locations in India, including the National Capital Region.

The agency said that the arrested terrorists will be produced before the concerned courts in Kerala and West Bengal for police custody.

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