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Fasih Mohammed, a 28-year-old mechanical engineer who’s accused of recruiting and financing terrorists for the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and a key suspect in the 2010 Bangalore blast case, was arrested on Monday here after he was deported from Saudi Arabia.
Investigators said Mohammed was deported from the Gulf kingdom in the early hours on Monday and was arrested at Indira Gandhi International Airport by the Delhi Police. Mohammed was allegedly involved in the Chinnaswamy bomb blast case in Bangalore and is also accused of having planned a terror strike in Jama Masjid in Delhi during the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
Senior officials in the home ministry believe Mohammed was a link between members of IM in Saudi Arabia and the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), the Pakistan-based terror outfit, and that he was handling at least 13 IM operatives. Mohammed’s name had first come up in investigation in November 2011 when the Delhi Police arrested some IM operatives from Bihar. While going through the telephone records of the arrested suspects, investigators had found the telephone number of a Mohammed, based in Saudi Arabia since 2007. The lead led them to Fasih Mohammed.
“It was a very important catch. He was deported by Saudi Arabia. Our officers were in touch with Saudi Arabia. That’s how it happened,” Home Secretary R K Singh said. Mohammed was arrested by Saudi authorities in July, soon after the arrest of Zabiuddin Ansari or Abu Jundal, who had allegedly played a crucial role in masterminding the November 2008 attack on Mumbai.
While recruiting operatives for IM in Darbhanga and Madhubani in Bihar, Mohammed had introduced his cousin Guhar Aziz Khomani to Yasin Bhatkal, the mastermind of IM, who is allegedly involved in executive several terror strikes in the country, officials said.
Soon after joining IM, Khomani had visited Mohammed in Saudi Arabia. Interestingly, of the 13 IM terrorists suspected to be in contact with Mohammed, at least six, including Khomani, belong to the same village in Darbhanga.
Senior officials have indicated Khomani was among the first recruits of Mohammed who had taken Bhatkal to his village. Investigators have identified Khomani as the person who had planted the bomb outside the Chinnaswamy stadium in Bangalore during an Indian Premier League match in April 2010.