The NIA arrested nine terrorists associated with a Pakistan-sponsored module of the al-Qaeda on Saturday after conducting simultaneous raids at several locations in Kerala and West Bengal, an official said.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar remarked on the recent arrest and said in a tweet, "State has become home to illegal bomb making that has the potential to unsettle democracy. Police @MamataOfficial busy in carrying out political errands and taking on the opposition. Those at helm @WBPolice cannot escape their accountability for this alarming decline in law and order."
State has become home to illegal bomb making that has potential to unsettle democracy.
Police @MamataOfficial busy in carrying out political errands and taking on opposition.
Those at helm @WBPolice cannot escape their accountability for this alarming decline in law and order.— Governor West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankhar (@jdhankhar1) September 19, 2020
The governor, who has had regular run-ins with the Mamata Banerjee dispensation on several issues, had on earlier occasions accused the police and administration in the state of playing a partisan role and causing harassment to leaders and workers of opposition parties.
The raids were conducted in the early hours at Ernakulam in Kerala and Murshidabad in West Bengal.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had learnt about an inter-state module of al-Qaeda operatives at various locations in India, including West Bengal and Kerala.
The group was planning to launch terror attacks at vital installations in the country with an aim to kill innocent people, the official said.
The NIA registered a case on September 11 and launched a probe.
The agency arrested six terrorists from West Bengal and three from Kerala.
Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas, Mosaraf Hossen from Ernakulam and Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman from Murshidabad were arrested by the premier investigating agency.
A preliminary probe revealed that the arrested men were radicalised by Pakistan-based al-Qaeda terrorists on social media platforms and were motivated to launch attacks at multiple locations, including in the National Capital Region (NCR).
The module was actively involved in fund-raising and some of its members were planning to travel to New Delhi to procure arms and ammunition, the official said, adding that the arrests have prevented possible terrorist attacks in various parts of the country.
Incriminating materials, including digital devices, documents, jihadi literature, sharp weapons, country-made firearms, a locally-fabricated body armour, articles and literature for making home-made explosive devices, have been seized from the possession of the arrested terrorists, the official said.
They will be produced before the courts concerned in Kerala and West Bengal for custody and further investigation, he added.