Thiruvananthapuram: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested two terrorists from Trivandrum International Airport on Monday. The ultras have been identified as Kannur native Shuhaib who came from Saudi Arabia and UP native Gul Navas.
The two were taken into custody by a special NIA team in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, two weeks ago.
Shuhaib, an accused in the Bengaluru serial blasts who has been absconding since 2008, was detained by Bengaluru city Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC), with the assistance of central agencies. One person was killed and several others were injured in the Bengaluru blast. A Red Corner Notice had been issued against him. Shuhaib, was one of the earliest members of Indian Mujahideen formed by Thadiyantavide Naseer, who has been arrested on terrorism charges.
Shuhaib, who was quite active in the Indian Mujahideen with Thadiyantavide Naseer, escaped to Pakistan in 2014 after the Bengaluru blasts. He is the only remaining accused to be caught in the case.
Indian intelligence agencies had received information that he had got married after moving to Pakistan and was running a business. The NIA also received information from Interpol that he visited Riyadh from time to time. The NIA then moved to capture him from the Saudi capital.
Gul Navas, an active member of Lashkar, was involved in the Delhi blast. The two extremists were brought to India after a look out notice was issued against them in Riyadh.
Both were early activists of SIMI. Shuhaib later joined the Indian Mujahideen and Gul Nawaz joined the Lashkar-e-Taiba. It has been found that Shuhaib used to transfer money from Kerala to terrorist organisations through the hawala route.
Gul Nawaz is being questioned at the IB headquarters in Thiruvananthapuram, while Shuhaib is being interrogated at the Kochi headquarters of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The two were brought on an Air India flight at 6.30 pm on Monday.
This incident comes after three terrorists - Iyakub Biswas, Murshid Hasan and Musharraf Hussain - linked to al Qaeda were nabbed by the NIA from Ernakulam on Saturday. Six more were arrested from West Bengal's Murshidabad district.
The agency said that the group was planning to undertake terrorist attacks at vital installations in India with an aim to kill innocent people and create a fear psychosis in society.
A closely-monitored operation of the NIA and other central agencies began on September 11 when the premier investigating agency registered a case to probe the al-Qaeda module.