Bangalore: The Karnataka crime branch on Saturday set up a special team to investigate the terror links of a dozen youths arrested this week and unravel their plans to carry deadly attacks in the state with support from banned outfits LeT and HuJi.
"We have formed a special investigation team to crack the case registered against the 12 suspects arrested and unravel their plans to carry terror attacks in the state on the basis of evidence collected through preliminary interrogation and incriminating materials seized from them so far," Bangalore Police Commissioner Jyotiprakash Mirji told reporters in Bangalore.
The crime branch sleuths picked up the terror suspects - 11 from Bangalore and Hubli in Karnataka on Wednesday and one from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh on Friday. A 7.65mm pistol, seven cartridges, 16 mobile handsets, eight SIM cards, three pen drives, four ATMs, seven laptops and one bike were recovered from them and their hideouts in the state.
The crime branch sleuths picked up the terror suspects - 11 from Bangalore and Hubli in Karnataka on Wednesday and one from Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh on Friday.
"In addition to arms and ammunition, incriminating materials, including jehadi literature, two maps of Chennai and India, a map of Iran, Urdu newspaper cuttings and religious books were seized in Bangalore and Hubli," Mirji said a day after the families of the accused cried foul over the dramatic arrest of their relatives, including sons and brothers.
As part of the investigation, the seized material has been sent to forensic analysis for further evidence and in support of the confessional statements they had made during the interrogation.
"We have learnt from some of the accused that Rehman was plotting to assassinate a prominent leader of a Hindu organisation in Hyderabad and two corporators of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) in the city.
"They have also plotted to attack vital installations such as the Kaiga nuclear power plant (about 500 km from Bangalore) and the Sea Bird naval base at Karwar (in Uttara Kannada district on the west coast of the state)," Mirji claimed.
Of the 12 accused, the six from Bangalore are Shoaib Ahmed Mirza (25), Abdullah alias Abdul Hakim Jamdar (25), Izaz Mohammed Mirza (25), Mohammed Yosuf Nalaband (28), Riyaz Ahmed Byahatti (28) and Muthi-ur-Rehman Siddiqui (26).
Those arrested from Hubli are Obedullah Imran Bahaddur (24), Mohammed Sadik Lashkar (28), Waheed Hussein (26), Mehboob Bagalokote (26) and Iqbal. The 12th suspect is Mohammed Ubaidur Rehman, 26, a student from the old city of Hyderabad.
The suspects have been charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Arms Act. Eleven of the accused were remanded to 14-day police custody Thursday for investigations, while Rehman was produced in a local court Saturday for similar remand.
The arrests were made for allegedly plotting to assassinate leading state politicians, high profile journalists and a media baron in collusion with their Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islam (Huji) handlers in Saudi Arabia.
Mirji, however, declined to respond to the statements made by the families of the accused on Friday that their sons and brothers were innocent and their arrests were a case of mistaken identity.