The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a madrasa teacher from Murshidabad in West Bengal for allegedly being part of an Al-Qaeda module operating out of the state and Kerala. Abdul Momin Mondal, 32, was arrested by the agency on Sunday for allegedly “trying to recruit new members for the group” and raising funds.
“Investigation revealed that accused, Abdul Momin Mondal, was working as a teacher in Raipur Darul Huda Islamia Madrassa in Murshidabad district… and was found to be involved in a series of conspiratorial meetings convened by the members of the Al-Qaeda module. He was also trying to recruit new members for the group and was raising funds for furthering its terrorist activities. The residential premises of the accused person were searched and digital devices were seized,” an NIA statement said.
This is the eleventh arrest that the agency has made since September when it first apprehended nine members of the alleged module based on intelligence inputs. According to NIA, the case “pertains to anti-national activities by a group of jihadi terrorists consisting of more than 10 members inspired by globally proscribed terrorist organisation Al-Qaeda, who were planning to carry out anti-national and terrorist activities at different locations in India, including, but not limited to West Bengal, Delhi and Kerala.”
In September, the NIA had arrested nine accused claiming they were planning a terror strike in various parts of the country at the behest of handlers from Pakistan.
The agency swooped down on the group, allegedly operating out of Murshidabad in West Bengal and Ernakulam in Kerala, in an early morning raid on September 19 and had recovered country-made pistols, a rudimentary body armour, batteries, switches and firecrackers, literature on home-made IEDs and other “incriminating material”.
Sources said the raids were carried out based on intelligence inputs which suggested the group was preparing for an attack. The members had been kept under surveillance for the past few months, they said.
Barring two, all the accused are either daily wage labourers or low wage earners. One of the accused is a computer science graduate while another is pursuing graduation in Arts.
“As per preliminary investigation, these individuals were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda terrorists on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places including the National Capital Region,” the NIA had said in a statement.
An official claimed the accused had to be arrested as they had recently procured batteries, switches, wires and firecrackers that could be used to make a bomb.
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