National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths have arrested a man in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district believed to be working as a recruiter for the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terror outfit, authorities said on Wednesday.
The person, identified as Bangladesh resident Abdul Mannan, was arrested from Subhasgram area, some 30 km away from Kolkata. He is being brought to Kolkata and will be presented before a court.
According to sources in the central agency, Mannan was an active member of the outfit responsible for recruiting people and re-activating the sleeper-cells in West Bengal.
“The man was also responsible for coordinating with the old JMB members and the new JMB members,” the sources said.
NIA investigators have recovered multiple fake Voter IDs and Aadhaar cards from the arrested.
The detectives also suspect that he made fake identity cards for several other people.
According to the sources, Mannan’s arrest is of significance as he has been working as a “linkman” in the state and the investigators believe he might be a storehouse of information.
Top level sources in the agency indicated that Mannan was directly in connection with the three terrorists who were arrested by Kolkata Special Task Force (STF) in July. The three identified as Naziur Rahman Powell alias Jayaram Vyapari alias Joseph (30), Raviul Islam (22) and Sheikh Shabbir alias Mikail Khan (30) were arrested from Haridevpur area in South Kolkata.
The police said the accused had illegally crossed the border about a month ago, and arrived here.
According to the investigators, the Covid-19 lockdown and the subsequent unemployment is making the work of these terror groups easier. Taking advantage of the porous border with Bangladesh and unemployment, international terror groups like JMB, Ansarullah Faction and even the Islamic State are trying to spread their network in the state. The aim is to make West Bengal, the headquarters of the terror activities in entire eastern India.
Sometimes through direct interaction and at times through online, they are targeting smart but unemployed young boys and girls in the state.
The NIA and the STF of Kolkata Police have secured this information from the three JMB terrorists.
“The brainwashing of meritorious but unemployed youth is such a problem that cannot be tackled by any police or anti-terror agency. Only police personnel at grassroots level can tackle this problem to some extent. The state police authorities should give special training to the constable level personnel on these lines. But unfortunately, this system is not followed in West Bengal. West Bengal police personnel are running short of personnel and hence they are mainly involved in tackling law and order problems. Very few of them are trained or equipped to tackle the sleeper cell woes,” a senior official of the state Home Department said.