NIA catches six alleged Al-Qaeda terrorists from Murshidabad district of West Bengal

KOLKATA: The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which has arrested six al-Qaeda terrorists from Murshidabad district of West Bengal, has found that more people in the state are working for the terror outfit, an official of the investigating agency said.

On interrogating the six arrested from Murshidabad on Saturday, the NIA sleuths have unearthed the identities of two persons from Malda working in tandem with them, he said.

"There are more members spread in other districts of West Bengal as well as other states having links to al-Qaeda. In fact, the two from Malda were present at a meeting at the Murshidabad house on Thursday night. They had left the place early on Friday morning and the six were arrested by the NIA on Saturday.

"The two are now on the run and a search for them has started ," the official told PTI on Monday.

According to the NIA sources out of the six arrested, two are students having close links to some persons in Kashmir.

A few SIM cards which were seized from their possession, the laptop and the mobile phones used by these two students, revealed their link to "unknown" persons in Kashmir.

"One of the two is a second year undergraduate student of computer science at Basantapur Engineering College in Domkal, while another is a first year student in a college in Karimpur. The laptop and the mobile phones which these two were using showed several contacts in Kashmir, Kerala and other states. They were using several SIM cards. Several WhatsApp chats and video conferences were held using these numbers.

"There are several groups created on WhatsApp (by them). Several communicating apps were also used. We are questioning them," he said.

The NIA sleuths on Sunday night conducted a raid at the house of Abu Sufiyan, one of the six arrested from Murshidabad, and questioned his family members, the officer said.

They seized electrical circuits and other devices from a concrete-bunker found inside Sufiyan's residence, he added.

The NIA had on Saturday arrested nine terrorists associated with a Pakistan-sponsored module of al-Qaeda, the transnational terror outfit, after conducting simultaneous raids at several locations in Kerala and West Bengal.

The raids were conducted on Saturday at Ernakulam in Kerala and Murshidabad in West Bengal.

The NIA has learnt about an inter-state module of al- Qaeda operatives at various locations in India, including West Bengal and Kerala.