Kolkata Police on Monday busted a major Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB) module from Bangladesh active in eastern and north-eastern India. The police arrested as many as six JMB operatives, of which three are Bangladeshi nationals and three Indian nationals of Bangladesh origin.
The police highlighted that the arrested were running sleeper cells of the JMB across the eastern and north-eastern states and were plotting a terror attack in the region. However, officials did not rule out any links with the Islamic State or the attack in Dhaka’s high security zone Gulshan.
“They were planning a terror attack in this region. The module was active in radicalising youths from Bangladesh. Since they did not use any technology or social media or mobile phones, it was a difficult catch. Some more operatives are involved in the module and we are looking for them,” said Joint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Special Task Force), Vishal Garg, adding, “We are probing all possible angles. We are also investigating if they had any role to play in the Gulshan attacks or have any links with the Islamic State.”
This arrest and busting of the module comes as a major breakthrough as all these JMB operatives were wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the October 2, 2014, Burdwan blast case and had cash bounty on them.
Sources in the Special Task Force highlight that these operatives were controlled and handled by JMB’s Majlish-e-Shura, think tank in charge of India, Salahuddin. The police seized ‘white powder’ sort of chemical compound from the possession of these JMB operatives. “We have seized some ‘white powder’ kind of an explosive. We do not know the nature of the explosive, hence we have sent it for examination. These explosives were being brought to Kolkata when we arrested them,” added Garg.
The police have seized several electrical wire circuits and electrical boards, circuits of IEDs, forged documents, fake Indian and Bangladeshi currency. A Bangladeshi trade license in the name of Rubel was also seized from his possession, besides chemical compounds, SD cards, laptop and mobile phones. All the chemical compounds and explosives have been sent for examination.
All six arrested will be produced before the local court in Kolkata and the police will ask for custody.
Meanwhile, a team of NIA officers is all set to question the six arrested by the Kolkata Police’s Special Task Force.
Details of the 6 arrested
- The head of JMB’s Bengal unit, Inam alias Anwar Hussain.
- Maulana Yusuf, who is the chief motivator of JMB across Madrasas in Bengal, had a Rs10 lakh bounty on him by the NIA. Yusuf used to radicalise youth in the Madrasa and train them in guerrilla warfare. Yusuf was the second-in-command for the JMB’s Bengal unit.
- Sahidul Islam is the chief of the JMB in the North-eastern region and was wanted by the NIA.
- Md. Rubel alias Rafique is a resident of Jamalpur, Bangladesh and an expert in IEDs. Rubel used to bring Bangladeshi youths to India to train and radicalise them. NIA had announced Rs1 lakh bounty on him.
- Md. Abul Kalam is also an expert in IEDs and used to assist another operative, Sahidul.
- Jabirul Islam alias Jahidul Islam is a Bangladeshi national, who had entered India without any valid passport or visa.