Zeeshan Ali, an alleged Al-Qaeda terrorist deported from Saudi Arabia, was on Thursday produced before a Delhi Court which remanded him in custody of city police for two weeks for interrogation in a case of terror funding. 29-year-old Ali, a native of Jharkhand and relative of 2007 Glasgow airport attack suspect, was sent back from Saudi Arabia last evening in connection with the case in which he is also accused of conspiring with other Qaeda members to organise and make provocative speeches to recruit Indian youths and establishing a base for the terror outfit.
After deportation due to violation of visa, the alleged terrorist was arrested by the Delhi Police last night at the Indira Gandhi International Airport as there was a Look Out Circular against him. Ali was declared a proclaimed offender by a Delhi court on July 12, along with eleven others. Their name was disclosed by five accused, arrested by the the probe agency earlier, as active cadres of this banned outfit operating in India from Pakistan and other countries and known as Al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).
While seeking his custody for 20 days, the police told Additional Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma that Ali’s brother, Syed Mohd Arshiyan, and brother-in-law, Sabeel Ahmad, are also wanted in the case and he needed to be interrogated with respect to their possible hideouts. “His brother-in-law Ahmad is brother of Kafil Ahmad, who had committed suicidal attack at Glasgow airport, London, in 2007,” the police said.
It said that custody of Ali, who originally hails from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand, was required to identify the logistics, financial aid to AQIS from India and abroad and to interrogate and confront with the evidence collected so far so that the whole conspiracy can be unearthed. Advocate M S Khan, appearing for Ali, however, opposed the plea.
Meanwhile, the five arrested accused — Syed Anzar Shah, Mohd Asif, Zafar Masood, Mohd Abdul Rehman and Abdul Sami –today completed their argument on charges before a court here. Khan, appearing for some of the accused, told the court that there was no evidence against them and the entire case was based on disclosure statement. The five, arrested between December 2015 and January 2016 from different parts of the country, were charged by the agency under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
The deportation of Ali assumes significance as security agencies have cracked down on members of various terror outfits, particularly in the Kashmir Valley. Three alleged terrorists, who were reportedly part of Zakir Musa-led Ansar Gazwatul Hind – an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, were killed in an encounter with security forces in Pulwama district in south Kashmir yesterday. Another person, Abdullah, who was associated with the Islamic extremist group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), was arrested by Uttar Pradesh anti-terrorist squad on Sunday from Muzaffarnagar district. ABT is Bangladeshi militant outfit inspired by Al Qaeda.