Kolkata, Nov 21 (IANS) Three persons, including two suspected members of Bangladesh-based Islamist group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), were arrested on Tuesday from the Kolkata railway station, a police officer said.
The ABT, a front for Al Qaeda in the Indian subcontinent, was involved in some of the brutal attacks and murder of atheist bloggers in Bangladesh between 2013 and 2015. It has been banned in that country.
The third man arrested by the Special Task Force (STF) of Kolkata Police is a local arms dealer.
Police said initial investigation suggested that the two Bangladeshis had illegally entered India to buy modern firearms and were staying in the country for one-and-a-half years.
“The three were arrested by the STF around 2.30 p.m., including Shamsad Mia alias Tanveer alias Tushar Biswas and Riaz alias Riazul Islam from Bangladesh. Both are members of Ansarullah Bangla Team that is closely related to the terrorist organisation Al Qaeda,” Muralidhar Sharma, Deputy Commissioner of Kolkata Police (STF), said at a press conference here.
“Manotosh Dey alias Mona Da is suspected to be an arms dealer from North 24 Parganas district’s Basirhat. Laptops, pen drives and firearms, including seven point 32 mm pistol, a one shutter and several documents and books related to Al Qaeda have been seized from the three accused,” he said.
“Several documents on their future plans have been seized along with Al Qaeda booklets on Islam and instructions on how to conduct recce. A document with names of important and crowded places in Kolkata has also been seized,” Sharma said.
The officer said the three miscreants would be interrogated to determine whether they had any plans of carrying out terror activities in the city.
“The two Bangladeshis confessed to have come here to buy modern firearms from the arms dealer. We arrested the three when they met at the railway station to check out firearms they intended to buy,” the officer said.
The STF was tipped off about the movement of a number of Bangladeshi terrorists into the state by the Intelligence Bureau during the festive season in October when the FIFA U-17 World Cup was underway in the city, the officer said.
“The STF conducted combing operation in hotels, railway stations, and other public places in Kolkata and nearby towns in West Bengal and received specific information about the three accused two-three days ago. All three of them would be presented in court on Wednesday,” he added.
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