4 Bangladeshi Nationals with Al-Qaeda Links Arrested in Gujarat Crackdown

Ahmedabad: In a significant development, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested four Bangladeshi nationals as part of a crackdown on an Al-Qaeda module in Ahmedabad.

The individuals, identified as Mohammad Sojib, Munna Khalid Ansari, Azharul Islam Ansari, and Mominul Ansari, have been linked to Al-Qaeda, according to officials. Initial investigations revealed that these individuals received training from their handlers in Bangladesh before being dispatched to India.

Authorities stated that the arrested men were tasked with raising funds for Al-Qaeda’s terrorist activities, radicalizing young individuals, and enticing them to join their terrorist organization. The four suspects were taken into custody from different locations in Ahmedabad, with legal actions initiated against them under the relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Based on a specific tip-off, the ATS initially detained Sojib for questioning. Sojib, a resident of Ahmedabad’s Rakhial area, informed investigators about his association with Al-Qaeda and revealed that he and his three companions received instructions from their handler in Bangladesh, Shariful Islam.

The youths had reportedly met Shayba, who leads Al-Qaeda’s operations in Bangladesh’s Mymensingh district, through Islam. Following this lead, the ATS apprehended Munna, Azharul, and Mominul from Ahmedabad’s Narol area, where they worked in factories. During the operation, the police discovered forged Aadhaar and PAN cards, as well as propaganda materials published by Al-Qaeda’s media wing, As-Sahab Media, at their rented accommodations.

According to a senior ATS officer, the arrested individuals underwent training in using encrypted chat applications and virtual private networks (VPNs) prior to illegally entering India. The suspects managed to obtain fake identification documents, including Aadhaar and PAN cards. Moreover, investigations revealed that they had contacted and radicalized individuals in several states across the country, successfully influencing at least two people.

In addition to the arrests, the ATS plans to conduct a comprehensive investigation to uncover details about the facilitators who assisted the group in crossing the India-Bangladesh border, their methods of fundraising, local contacts, and the extent of radicalization caused by their activities.

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