Arrest of two Al Qaeda linkmen foils attempt to create terror module in Bengal’s Mathurapur

The special task force (STF) of Kolkata Police has foiled an attempt to set up a new Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) module in the Mathurapur area in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district after the arrests made since November 5.

Kolkata Police on Monday said that its special task force (STF) had arrested two linkmen of Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) from Mathurapur during the last 48 hours.

With these arrests, the total number of AQIS or linkmen arrested by the STF during the last four months has reached eight. Apart from that in September, the STF sleuths also arrested a suspected spy of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), from Kalimpong, the hill resort city in the northern sector of West Bengal.

City police sources said both the arrested linkmen — Azizul Haque and Maniruddin Khan — were educated. While Azizul Haque is a teacher by profession, Maniruddin Khan is a third-year student of history with Barasat College. Both were known in their respective localities as extremely soft-spoken and decent persons. Khan also used to take private tuitions from Haque.

According to city police sources, following the interrogation of the two arrested persons, the STF developed a clear idea of their style of functioning to create a new module in the Mathurapur area.

The duo drew the attention of the sleuths of STF after the cyber experts of the city police tracked some of their social media posts that clearly were anti- national. After interrogating the duo, the sleuths came to know that the two used to hunt fresh brains for the AQUIS module through social media only.

In this case their targets were mainly youths from the minority dominated pockets from South 24 Parganas district. After identifying the targets, the duo used to brainwash them by showing them different jihadi related videos as well alleged oppression against the people of a particular community globally. “The duo, especially Haque, through eloquent interactive style, made attempts to brainwash youths in the area,” a city police official said.

At the same time, Maniruddin Khan was also responsible for arranging for fake Indian identity cards, mobile SIM cards, bank accounts and providing similar logistics support for AQIS activists coming from Bangladesh. He also acted as fund-raiser for the outfit.

The STF sleuths, through interrogation, were trying to go deeper in the module that Azizul Haque and Maniruddin Khan represented to track their higher level of leadership.

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