The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday took in custody a 30-year-old man linked to the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in connection with the 2014 bomb blast on Bengaluru’s Church Street that killed a 37-year-old woman.
Alemzeb Afridi alias Mohammed Rafiq alias Jaweed, who was detained in Bengaluru on January 23 by a unit of Telangana anti-terrorist squad, was placed under arrest by the NIA after he reportedly admitted to planting the bomb on Church Street. Afridi was produced before a special court and remanded in NIA custody for 10 days.
An NIA counsel informed the court that Afridi had admitted to his role in the blast outside the Coconut Grove restaurant on December 28, 2014. The court was informed that the physical profile of a suspect captured on CCTV cameras and identified as the possible bomber matches that of Afridi.
The NIA also said the bomb was placed to kill Israeli diplomats. “His handler, who we are trying to identify, told him some Israeli diplomats were to have dinner there. The information, however, was incorrect,” it said.
According to the NIA, Afridi wanted to plant the bomb inside the restaurant “but was deterred by the presence of staff and planted it outside near the wall.”
The NIA said Afridi had also admitted to his role in an incident of arson at Israeli Visa Centre in Bengaluru. “Anti-semitic literature was recovered from his residence,” the NIA said.
Afridi is linked to eight other cases, including the Ahmedabad blasts of July 2008 that killed 56 people and participation in SIMI meetings, the court was told. He is suspected to be involved in the September 2008 blasts in Delhi.
“Alamzeb Afridi, a SIMI cadre, is also an absconding accused in the NIA case relating to the organisation of a terrorist training camp by SIMI in Kerala,” the agency said in a statement.