Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Cuttack, Dec 16:
Delhi police today arrested a suspected al-Qaeda terrorist from Jagatpur area on the outskirts of Odisha’s Cuttack.
During the joint operation by Delhi police and Commissionerate Police, the 37-year-old suspect identified as Mohd Abdur Rehman was picked up from his house in the wee hours today. He reportedly hails from Satabatia village in Paschimakachha area in the district.
Based on intelligence inputs, the Delhi police arrived here and raided the place where Rehman was residing.
“The team of Delhi police’s special cell arrived here last evening. It was learnt from them that Delhi police has registered a case under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against some criminals having suspected links with AQIS (al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent). One of them, as disclosed by them, was Abdur Rehman, resident of Paschimachhak village under Jagatpur police station. Thereafter a joint operation was planned to nab him. A joint team of Delhi police officers and the Commissionerate Police officers headed by Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi and Cuttack DCP Sanjeeve Arora raided the residence of Abdur Rehman and arrested him,” Twin City Commissioner Dr RP Sharma told reporters.
As per preliminary investigation, Abdur Rehman has received education in a madrasa. He did his higher studies in Deoband, Uttar Pradesh where he pursued his PhD on religious topics. He runs a madrasa under Tangi police station limits where students mainly from Jharkhand have enrolled themselves. One of his elder brothers, Tahir Rehman, was arrested from Kolkata in 2001 in connection with American Center attack, police said.
During the house search, his mobile phone, tablet and passport has been seized. He played the role of a facilitator. Delhi police will investigate his role in recruitments, police added.
AQIS—an affiliated body of Islamist militant group al-Qaeda– was formed in September 2014 to coordinate activities in Indian subcontinent.
The suspected terrorist’s mobile phone and his bank account transactions were under the scanner for quite some time. He was arrested after suspicious activities, sources said.
According to reports, Delhi police will produce him before a local court here and seek to take him on transit remand. Later, he will be produced in a Delhi court for further interrogation.
Meanwhile, police have kept the suspected terrorist in an undisclosed location and are interrogating him.
Notably, the central intelligence agencies provide advisory to the state regarding possible terror attacks on various vital installations in the state from time to time. The Interim Test Range (ITR) in Chandipur, Abdul Kalam Island formerly known as Wheeler Island and Jagannath temple in Puri have been on the hit list of the radical elements.
A team of over 30 police personnel including Bhubaneswar DCP Satyabrata Bhoi, Cuttack DCP Sanjeev Arora and other senior officials raided Rehman’s house late yesterday night.
Following the Paris attacks, major cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and Hyderabad have been put on high alert after intelligence inputs of reported threat of al Qaeda terror attacks.
The reported threat was that al-Qaeda was planning attacks on public places, tourist spots, iconic buildings, and places of worship in these cities.
It may be mentioned here that Delhi police today arrested another suspected al-Qaeda terrorist from the national capital who is a native of Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh. Besides, two jihadis were also arrested yesterday who reportedly received training from Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).