Intensifying the crackdown on the "terror module" busted in Karnataka, police have arrested five more suspects in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, as a probe showed that a nuclear installation and several defence establishments were targeted for attack.
With the arrest of the five suspects -- four in Nanded and one in Hyderabad -- who allegedly had links with the 11 people held by the Bangalore police, the number of those detained in the terror plot rose to 16.
The eleven persons including a journalist and DRDO scientist arrested by Bangalore police earlier this week were suspected to have links with with Pakistan-based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al-Islami and were allegedly plotting to target MPs, MLAs and mediapersons in Karnataka
Maharashtra ATS arrested four terror suspects from Nanded district for their alleged links with the arrested persons in Karnataka, an ATS official said in Mumbai on Saturday.
"We have arrested four persons, who have links with the terror suspects arrested in Bangalore," ATS chief Rakesh Maria said.
However, Maria refused to divulge any further details.
According to police sources, following the arrest of the terror suspects in Bangalore by the local police, they had shared some information with Maharashtra ATS officials, which has resulted in the arrest of the four persons.
The four suspects were picked up from various parts of Nanded district in the past two days following a tip-off about their possible involvement in terror activities.
Bangalore police arrested a youth in Hyderabad on Friday with alleged links to LeT and HuJI.
21-year old Obedulla-Ur-Rehman was arrested on the basis of information given by the 11 terror suspects taken into custody in Hubli and Bangalore earlier this week, Police Commissioner Jyotiprakash Mirji told mediapersons in Bangalore.
"Obedulla-Ur-Rehman along with others had conspired to kill two corporators and one prominent leader of a Hindu organisation of Hyderabad," Mirji said.
During interrogation, those arrested in Karnataka on Thursday confessed that the module had planned to attack a nuclear installation and vital navy and army establishments located in South India following directives from their LeT and HuJI handlers based in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, government sources said in Delhi.