Indian police bust ‘Al Qaeda cell’, three arrested

NEW DELHI: Delhi police have busted a suspected Al Qaeda cell and arrested a founder member of the militant group’s Indian wing, officials said Thursday.


Indian police claimed they had arrested “radical extremist” Mohammed Asif, 41, who allegedly led the group’s recruitment and training wing in India and was a founder member of Al Qaeda in the Subcontinent.

“Long and intense periods of deploying human sources in the vulnerable pockets of Islamic radicalisation led to the zeroing in on certain suspects,” police said in a statement.

“A trap was laid and in a swift and professional operation, accused Mohammad Asif was apprehended” when he went to meet a contact at a flyover in New Delhi, the statement alleged.

Two others were also arrested in the case, one for allegedly attempting to negatively influence students at a madressah in Uttar Pradesh state and another for financing the group’s activities, Press Trust of India reported. All three have been remanded in custody, according to police and PTI.

In September 2014 Al Qaeda announced it had set up a new branch on the Indian subcontinent seeking to invigorate its movement, after which India placed several states on high alert.