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Police arrest Indian Mujahideeen founder

CNN-IBN
Sep 25, 2008 at 01:26am IST

Mumbai: Mumbai Police claim to have foiled a major terror attack with the arrest of five alleged Indian Mujahideen activists on Wednesday.

Police officials say all those arrested were involved in all the bomb blasts in the country since 2005 including Mumbai train blasts in 2006, the July 29 serial bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and the September 23 bombings in New Delhi.

All the suspected were also allegedly involved in Sankatmochan temple blast in Varanasi, blasts in courts in Lucknow and Faizabad in Uttar Pradesh, blasts in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Jaipur and planting of unexploded bombs in Surat, police said.

Addressing the media, Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police Rakesh Maria claimed that the arrested people have confessed to their involved in some of the recent bomb blasts in the country and they were also planning to target Mumbai in the near future.

Maria revealed that the five arrested are Mohammad Sadiq Sheikh, Ahmed Sheikh, Arif Badr Sheikh, Mohammad Afzal Usmani and Mohammad Zakiri.

All the five accused hail from Azamgad in Uttar Pradesh.

"Saddik used to lure youths from his village Sanjarpur in Azamgad and was involved in the planning of Delhi and Ahmedabad blasts," Maria stated.

According to the police Sheikh is one of the founding members of Indian Mujahideen along with suspected mastermind of Delhi blasts, Atif. Usmani placed bomb at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital and stole four vehicles from Navi Mumbai which were used in the blasts.

Sadiq and Sheikh were picked up from Cheetah Camp, while Arif was arrested from Chembur, Usmani from Azamgarh (Uttar Pradesh) and Zakiri from Bhiwandi in Thane.

"We have recovered 10 kilograms of ammonium nitrate, four electric circuits, submachine gun and revolvers," Maria said adding that Sadiq was a programme engineer.

Mumbai Police Commissioner Hasan Gaffoor said that their investigations helped prevent another series of blasts in Mumbai.

"The explosives for the blasts came from Karnataka," Gaffoor revealed.

Police are also been investigating possible Lashkar-e-Toiba and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami links of the five arrested persons.

"Three of the accused had gone to Pakistan to undergo training, which was allegedly supported by the LeT and HuJI," Maria said, adding the money for weapons and explosives came through hawala channels.

"Roshan Khan, founder member of Indian Mujahideen, is still at large and is suspected to be in Pakistan," Maria said.

Khan, resident of Karnataka, has been active in Hyderabad, Maharashtra, Delhi and Gujarat, Maria said.

"The five have been booked for criminal conspiracy and under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, Explosives Act and Arms Act," Maria said.

All the five were originally SIMI (Student’s Islamic Movement of India) members, but later joined Indian Mujahideen, police said.

(With inputs from PTI)

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