Another al-Qaeda suspect held in Sambhal

The accused, identified as Zafar Masood, was arrested by one of the Special Cell teams that were raiding several places across western UP.

Written by Alok Singh | New Delhi | Updated: December 18, 2015 2:22:24 am
AQIS suspects Asif, Rehman have been sent to police custody for 12 days. (Express Photo by: Purushottam Sharma) AQIS suspects Asif, Rehman have been sent to police custody for 12 days. (Express Photo by: Purushottam Sharma)

IN THE third such arrest this week, the Delhi Police Special Cell on Thursday nabbed another suspect from Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh for alleged links with the al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

The accused, identified as Zafar Masood alias Guddu, 37, is alleged to have provided funds to Mohammad Asif, another Sambhal resident who was arrested earlier this week, and two others for going to Pakistan for training.

Masood was arrested from his home in Deepa Sarai, Sambhal, said sources.

While Asif was arrested from Delhi’s Seelampur area on December 14, another suspect, Abdul Rehman, was arrested from Cuttack in Odisha on Wednesday. They have been sent to police custody for 12 days.

The police have reportedly recovered some incriminating documents and seized their laptops which allegedly containing propaganda videos and speeches.

According to police, Asif and Rehman were working with AQIS head Sanaul Haq, a one-time resident of Sambhal, and had been tasked with setting up AQIS recruitment networks.

The Special Cell has identified two others from Sambhal — Sayed Akhtar alias Qasim, 41, and Serjil, 22 — who are reportedly linked to the AQIS and are now living in Pakistan.

Sources said Masood came to Delhi’s Jamia Nagar area in search of a job in 1990, after passing Class X. He reportedly worked at an AC repair unit. “Masood met Qasim, who was then a member of the Harkat ul Mujahideen. Qasim inspired him to join the Harkat ul Mujahideen. Later, Qasim went to Pakistan but remained in touch with Masood,” said sources.

Qasim is reported to have introduced Masood to Haq. Masood later returned to Sambhal and allegedly got involved in indoctrination activity.

According to sources, Masood told his interrogators that when he was with the Harkat ul Mujahideen, two alleged Pakistani terrorists — Mohd Hamza and Masood Ahmed — met him in Sambhal.

“Masood extended help in providing accommodation for them in Jamia,” said sources.

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