Three Bangladeshi youths have been arrested in India’s Lucknow over suspected connection to Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), an al Qaeda-inspired militant outfit banned in Bangladesh.
Uttar Pradesh police’s Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested them with fake Aadhaar cards (national identity cards) and other documents at the Lucknow Railway Station on Thursday.
The trio, allegedly brothers, was trying to board the Howrah-Amritsar Express to flee Uttar Pradesh (UP), reported the Indian Express
quoting ATS sources.
Aseem Arun, inspector general (IG) of ATS, said the arrestees, identified as Mohammad Imran, Rajid Uddin and Mohammad Firdaus, hail from Jessore.
“They have admitted that they have been living in India illegally and possess fake Aadhaar cards with bogus names and non-existent addresses on them,” he added.
One of the three was a teacher at a madrasa in Deoband and the other two were students. ATS officials said they launched a hunt after being tipped-off about the three suspiciously fleeing the madrasa.
IG Aseem said they were now investigating if the trio had any substantial link with suspected ABT member Abdullah Al Mamon, who was arrested on August 6 from a mosque at Kutesara village in Muzaffarnagar.
During interrogation, Abdullah had revealed the names of some of his associates, ATS officials said. Thursday’s arrests in Lucknow came after that.
During his arrest last month, several fake passports, Aadhaar cards and other official documents were seized from Abdullah that he was also holding for other people.
Police had also found official seals, duplicated signatures of important officials and copied panchayat pradhans in his possession.
Also Read- Indian police: Abdullah laid terror network ground in UP
Indian police said that Abdullah and his team of militants had succeeded in laying the groundwork for spreading a terror network in the area and were moving into the second or third phase of their operations.
Confessing he was working as a recruiter for the Islamic State, according to police, Abdullah said his work in UP as an Imam in madrasas and mosques was a cover to hide his main activity - providing shelter and fake IDs to Bangladeshi militants and ABT sleeper cells crossing over to India.
He also reportedly helped many of them settle in different western UP districts.
During interrogation, Abdullah also said he used to prepare the fake IDs with a Deoband resident named Faizan.
ATS later raided Faizan’s house, but did not find him. He is still on the run.
However, jihadi literature in Bangla, bomb making guidebook, colour printer and a number of fake IDs were recovered from there.