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Karnataka: Yahya Khan is a prize catch for investigators

February 23, 2008 14:30 IST

Yayha Khan Kammukutty is being considered as a prize catch for the investigators both in Karnataka and Kerala.

A software engineer by profession and the president of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (Karnataka unit), this man had been carrying out operations both in Karnataka and Kerala and his main objective was to strengthen SIMI in both these states apart from carrying out strikes.

The question now is what the police want out of this man.

First and foremost they will try and bust the terror network operating between Karnataka and Kerala.

Khan is alleged to have a lot of information regarding the terror modules in both states and is also aware of all the training camps, which exists in both states.

The police would also like to know the number of youths he has recruited in the past and also their whereabouts.

It is said that Khan had recruited several youths working in the IT sector especially from Kerala.

Khan believed that the future of terrorism depended heavily on the educated youth. They could spread their ideology and carry out strategic attacks effectively only if more and more professionals from various fields were recruited.

Apart from this, the police will also try and track down Adnan, a resident of Hubli in Karnataka who is suspected to be the mastermind behind the entire Karnataka terror plot as was planned by Nasir and his two other accomplices.

All the three are now in police custody and during the course of investigations they had revealed that Adnan had planned the entire operation.

A major worry for the cops is that Adnan, who gave the slip after the entire plot unfurled, has in his possession several explosives and AK-47 rifles.

The police believe that Khan who has been staying in Bangalore since the past five years was in touch with Adnan and the duo together could have planned several more strikes in Karnataka and Kerala.

How Khan was trapped: Khan studied at the Regional Engineering College in Kozhikode in the year 1996. The police say that Khan started thinking like an extremist after his visit to Saudi Arabia. He came in contact with several radical groups over there and was allegedly coaxed into taking the terror route.

On his return to India, he applied for a job at Bangalore and worked with Tata InfoTech Ltd for a couple of years and later joined GE Healthcare where he worked till the year 2007 before he was asked to quit due to suspicious behavior.

All this time he attended secret meetings conducted by SIMI.

Impressed with his work and dedication, he was asked to take over as the president of the state unit from Dr Nyamatulla Khan.

The police say that he lived in Whitefield, which is in the outskirts of Bangalore and held most of his meetings there.

His main area of operation was in Bangalore and Kozhikode and he had managed to recruit several youths from Kerala and Karnataka.

Most of the youths in Karnataka were recruited from Bijapur, Raichur and Davangere in north Karnataka.

How SIMI operates: After recruiting youths, SIMI directs these persons to attend meetings which discuss issues pertaining to Islam more moderately.

After two years of attending such meetings, they are selected for the next round called radicalism, where the training is more harsh.

From here they are sent on to the field where they would have to mastermind operations and also involve themselves in the recruitment of youths.

Vicky Nanjappa in Bangalore