Two Indian nationals wanted in terror cases in India have been detained in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates and are expected to be deported soon. While Abu Sufiyan alias Asadullah Khan has been detained in Saudi Arabia, Zainul Abideen alias Zahid Sheikh has been nabbed in Dubai in the UAE.
Hyderabad native Sufiyan (50) allegedly participated in terror conspiracy meetings in Riyadh in 2011-12 with a few youths from Karnataka and Maharashtra who were arrested for alleged links with Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Sufiyan is identified as Mohammed Asad Khan in an Interpol red corner notice and as Asadullah Khan alias Asad Khan alias Abu Sufiyan in a November 2012 NIA chargesheet in an alleged LeT conspiracy to recruit youths in India to carry out terror activities.
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The NIA has accused Sufiyan of taking part in meetings in Riyadh in 2011 involving LeT terrorists from Hyderabad Abdul Bari, Siddique bin Osman alias Abu Hanzala and Furkhan Bhai alias Abdullah and some men from Karnataka and Maharashtra to allegedly initiate jihadist activities in India. He is wanted in the Bangalore LeT case on charges of “attempt to murder, illegally acquiring or possessing firearms, collecting men, ammunition and preparing to wage war against India’’.
Of the five Indian youths who allegedly attended the meetings with Abu Sufiyan, two have been arrested by NIA. These are a dentist from Mysore Dr Imran Ahmed and MBA student from Aurangabad Mohammad Akram. Another youth who attended the meetings, Karnataka-based doctor Usman Ghani, was detained in Saudi Arabia three years ago but was later released.
Bangalore doctor Dr Sabeel Ahmed, who was briefly accused in a 2007 plot to attack Glasgow airport but was later freed and sent to India, has been named by NIA in the LeT case as a Saudi Arabia-based man who helped link up two key accused. Sources said Sufiyan was detained eight months ago and agencies are trying to obtain deportation orders.
Zainul Abideen’s (27) name came up this year during Bangalore police’s probe into the explosives supply chain feeding IM. Abideen, who lived in Bhatkal, allegedly procured explosives for the 2011 German Bakery blast and supplied it to Syed Ismail Afaque, a doctor arrested in January on charges of being IM’s main explosives supplier. Sources said Abideen was detained 20 days ago in Dubai and is likely to be deported in a week.