JMB members have indulged in robbery to collect funds in Southern India, NIA says
After its attempt in 2014 to create a base in West Bengal’s Burdwan, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh has once again emerged as a big threat, this time in South India.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) recently registered a case to probe the activities of JMB, a Bangladesh-based banned militant outfit, in the southern states after inputs that its members have indulged in robbery to collect funds.
The Hindustan Times said according to two NIA senior officials familiar with the developments, at least three to four incidents of robberies in Bengaluru, were linked to JMB, and are currently being examined by the central probe agency while their leader in India –- Jahidul Islam alias Kausar-- is being interrogated.
Wishing anonymity, one of the NIA officers said: “JMB, following a major crackdown in Burdwan by us in 2014, in which over 50 of its members were caught in West Bengal and Assam, failed to carry out terror attacks in that region.
“Kausar, who was instrumental in formation of JMB training camps, procuring explosives in 2014 for making over 100 bombs and planning the Bodhgaya blast in January 2018, had moved to Bengaluru and was reviving the outfit. But even after his arrest in August last year, it seems somebody is furthering the activities of JMB in South India.”
The NIA took Kausar’s custody again on September 19 this year. On Tuesday, based on his interrogation, it recovered material used in making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) from JMB’s hideouts in Bengaluru. A micro lithium cell, chemicals, handwritten letters in Bengali and articles that were robbed was also found during the raid.
The agency raided hideouts in Atibele, Kadugodi, K R Puram, Chikkbanavara and Shikaripalya, Electronic City in Bengaluru.
“Jahidul Islam disclosed during questioning that after the 2014 Burdwan blast, he and his associates went to southern India to escape the agencies on their trail,” a NIA spokesperson said.
Jahidul also identified locations in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, where he and his associates Habibur, Arif and Fahim alias Fahad, allegedly test-fired three rocket shells prepared by them during June to October 2017.