Karnataka Police on Wednesday got custody of terror suspect Abdul Sathar,who is believed to have helped the Indian Mujahideen group carry out bomb blasts across the country.
Sathar,56,is suspected of supplying the microchips that were used as timers in the bombs that rocked Bangalore on July 25 last year. He is also believed to have supplied the microchips for the Surat bombs the same month,which failed to go off.
He was arrested in a joint operation by central agencies and the police forces of Andhra Pradesh,Kerala and Karnataka on Tuesday.
Sathar alias Sainudheen is a former associate of Abdul Nasser Madhani,the hard line Peoples Democratic Party leader from Kerala who was exonerated two years ago in the 1998 Coimbatore blasts case.
Sathar,who is from Kerala,had been living in Hyderabad. He is also suspected of playing a role in the recruitment of youths from Kerala to train and fight security forces in Kashmir. Four men recruited in Kerala were killed in Kashmir in 2008 by security forces.
He first emerged on police radar in October 2008 when his telephone number (9246547313) cropped up during the analysis of the phone number of Nasir Tadiyandavede (9746186452),the suspected main recruiter from Kerala who is yet to be arrested.
Sathars number was also found to be in touch with that of Riyaz Bhatkal,the alleged founder of the Indian Mujahideen,the terror group suspected of carrying out the Hyderabad twin blasts of August 25,2007,the Jaipur blasts of May 13,2008,the Ahmedabad blasts of July 26 and the Delhi blasts of September 13.
Syed Noushad,an associate of Bhatkal who was arrested on October 3 last year,has told interrogators that he picked up a consignment in Kerala from Sathar on the instructions of Bhatkal. Noushad described Sathar as an electrical contractor with business interests in Kerala and Hyderabad.
Noushad said he traveled with the consignment picked from Sathar to Mangalore and subsequently to Pune and Surat. Police suspect the consignment contained the microchips used in the failed Surat bombs.
Sathars role as a recruiter of youths from Kerala to fight in Kashmir came up during investigations into the killing of the four alleged terrorists from the state in Kashmir. Investigators learnt that Sathar was the Hyderabad conduit for the Kerala youth on way to Kashmir.
Sathar and Naseer Tadiyandavede have also been named in two separate interrogations in Kerala as key players responsible for sending Mohammed Fayaz and Mohammed Fahiz,two of the terrorists from Kerala youth killed in Kashmir.
On Wednesday,the Kerala ATS submitted the charge sheet in a magistrate court at Thalassery in the case relating to the recruitment of militants from Kerala. While 22 have been named,police said only 13 of them,including Sathar,have been arrested so far.