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Mangalore: Arrested persons linked to key IM man

Vicky Nanjappa in Bengaluru | October 04, 2008 12:21 IST

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5 suspected terrorists detained in Mangalore

The interrogation conducted on the four arrested persons in Mangalore, Karnataka, has revealed that terror modules had planned on executing more attacks in the country.

Sources in the Karnataka police department told that the next target of terrorists were sensitive locations in Bengaluru [Images], Mangalore and Ahmedabad [Images].

In a major crackdown on Friday, the police had taken into custody Mohammed Ali, Jawed Ali, Naushad and Ahmad Bawa. The police, apart from recovering inflammatory material from these persons, also found them to be in possession of maps of major cities such as Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Mangalore.

Key security installations were marked on the maps and they were also carrying with them details of the security installations of these locations.

Apart from this, the police are interrogating these persons regarding their link to a man by the name Riyaz Bhatkal.

Bhatkal aka Roshan Khan was named by the Mumbai ATS earlier this month following their swoop down on operatives of the Indian Mujahideen [Images] who are alleged to have executed Operation BAD last month.

The Mumbai police had said that Bhatkal was a key person and had knowledge of all the blasts. Moreover, he was ranked very high in the IM hierarchy, the police had also said.

The Karnataka police believe that the persons arrested in Mangalore had links with Bhatkal. This man, prior to the setting up of the IM, was a representative of the Lashkar-e-Tayiba in India, Information Bureau sources said.

Bhatkal operated mostly out of coastal Karnataka and has been involved in several anti-national activities since the past eight to 10 years.

However, this man has always managed to give the police the slip as after each incident he slipped away to Saudi Arabia and returned when the heat was lowered on him.

Bhatkal's name had figured in the murder of an MLA, following which his name also appeared in the Mumbai train blasts.

Shaik Mohammad an accused in the train blasts had revealed during his interrogation that Bhatkal had funded the training programmes, which helped execute these blasts.

Apart from this, Bhatkal had also played a crucial role in setting up terror camps in coastal Karnataka.

The IB said the setting up terror camps in the coastal zones gives the clear indication that these persons are directly connected with the underworld.

It is not an unknown fact that the underworld likes to operate out of the coastal belt. Keeping this in mind, terror operatives too are shifting base to coastal belts since it is easier to receive arms and ammunition and also funding from the underworld.

The Karnataka police said that nabbing Bhatkal would be key to their operations since he would be able to provide more information, not only about the series of blasts that have rocked the country, but also about the various camps that have been set up in coastal Karnataka.

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