The six arrested operatives were running JMB's sleeper cells across the eastern and north-eastern Indian states, police informed. . (Wikimedia Commons) Photograph: (Others)
The six arrested JMB operatives were planning a terror attack in eastern and northeastern India, police said
Kolkata Police's Special Task Force (STF) today busted Islamic fundamentalist organisation Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh's (JMB) major module, active in eastern and northeastern India.
Six JMB operatives, including three Bangladeshi nationals and three Indian nationals of Bangladeshi origin, were arrested during separate raids in the eastern and northeastern states, the police in eastern city said.
The arrested operatives, including head of JMB’s unit in eastern West Bengal state, Inam alias Anwar Hussain, were running JMB's sleeper cells across the eastern and north-eastern Indian states, police informed.
The operatives were also wanted by the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in connection with 2014 Burdwan blast in West Bengal.
Arrest of six operatives a major breakthrough: Kolkata Police
According to the officials, the arrest of the six wanted operatives is a major breakthrough.
“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,” joint commissioner of Kolkata Police (Special Task Force), Vishal Garg said.
Officials have not ruled out the possibility of the operatives having links with the Islamic State or July 1 Dhaka cafe attack.
“We are probing all possible angles. We are also investigating if they had any role to play in the Dhaka cafe attack or have any links with the Islamic State."
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.
“We have seized some ‘white powder’ kind of an explosive. We do not know the nature of the explosive, so we have sent it for examination. These explosives were being brought to Kolkata when we arrested them,” Garg said.
The police have also seized several electrical wire circuits and electrical boards, forged documents, fake Indian and Bangladeshi currency, chemical compounds, SD cards, laptop and mobile phones, during the raids.
NIA team set to question six suspects
All six arrested will be produced before the local court in Kolkata and police will pray for police custody.
A team of NIA officers is also set to question the six arrested operatives, including Maulana Yusuf who was second-in-command for the JMB’s Bengal unit.
Yusuf, according to police, was the chief motivator of JMB across Madrasas in Bengal had a Rs 10 lakh bounty on him by the NIA
Police claimed that Yusuf used to radicalise youth in the Madrasa and train them in guerrilla warfare.
Another arrested operative, Sahidul Islam, was the chief of the JMB in the north-eastern region.
One of the six suspects, Md Rubel alias Rafique, who had a Rs 1 lakh bounty on him, is a resident of Jamalpur, Bangladesh and an expert in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
Rubel used to bring Bangladeshi youths to India to train and radicalise them, the police accuses.
Meanwhile, Md Abul Kalam, another operative arrested today, was also an expert in IEDs and used to assist another operative, Sahidul.
A Bangladeshi national, Jabirul Islam alias Jahidul Islam, who is also among the six arrested, had entered India without any valid passport or visa, police said.