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Al-Qaeda operative on mission to radicalise Rohingyas arrested in Delhi: 27-yr-old is a British national

New Delhi: A 27-year-old Bangladeshi-origin suspected al-Qaeda operative, who had come to India to allegedly train and radicalise Rohingyas for fighting the Myanmarese Army, has been arrested from east Delhi, the police said on Monday.

Initially, the British national tried to mislead police by claiming that his real name was Shoman Haq. He even showed them a fake voter ID card issued from Kishanganj in Bihar but subsequently, he was identified as Samiun Rahman alias Raju Bhai, they said.

The Delhi Police's Special Cell had been working to gain information about Rahman since July. The sleuths had learnt that a man named 'Raju Bhai' of the al-Qaeda terror group is trying to set up base in Delhi to carry out terrorist activities in New Delhi.

 Al-Qaeda operative on mission to radicalise Rohingyas arrested in Delhi: 27-yr-old is a British national

Suspected Al Qaeda operative Shoman Haq being shown to the media in New Delhi on Monday, a day after he was arrested by the Delhi Police. PTI

The team of Special Cell deployed sources in the NCR and other states to get information on him. It was further learnt that 'Raju Bhai' is in Delhi and is attempting to recruit people for the purpose of jihad, said Pramod Singh Kushwah, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell).

On Sunday, the police learnt that 'Raju Bhai' would come to Vikas Marg, Shakarpur near ITO, to meet one of the probable jihadist recruits, he said. He was nabbed and later the police learnt his real name. A pistol of 9 mm calibre, laptop, mobile phones, $2,000, 13,000 in Bangladeshi currency and Indian rupees were recovered from him, Kushwah said.

It was also found that he was a trained militant and had visited Morocco, Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Turkey, Syria, Bangladesh apart from India for terrorist activities. He had fought in Syria as a member of Jabhat Al Nusra, an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria, against the Syrian government forces, the official said.

In 2013, he was influenced by the ideology of al-Qaeda and joined it. He obtained a three-week training in their camp in Syria and fought there till 2014.

While he was in Syria, their group came to know about the "atrocities" on Rohingya Muslims of Myanmar. With his Bangladeshi background, he was selected to raise a fighter group there. In 2014, he arrived in Bangladesh to radicalise youth to join al-Qaeda with the help of a person named Yasina, a resident of Bangladesh and an old al-Qaeda cadre, the police official said.

He visited Dhaka and other places and radicalised dozens of young people in Bangladesh for their entry into Myanmar from Chittagong. However, he was arrested in Bangladesh for terrorist activities in 2014 and after imprisonment of about three years, he was released on bail in April this year, the official said.

He was in contact with his outfit members via Facebook, WhatsApp and telegram and after being released on bail, he contacted Muhammad al-Jawlani, head of al-Nusrah Front, who directed him to go to India.

In July, he entered India with the objective of setting up base in Mizoram and Manipur to fight for Rohingya Muslims, raise funds and incite youths, Kushwah said. During this period, he stayed at various madrasas in Kishanganj (Bihar), Hazari Bagh (Jharkhand), NCR and other places.

It is believed that he was in touch with a number of youths to incite them to join al-Qaeda, Kushwah said. He visited Delhi frequently for this cause.

Rahman was also involved in cultivating people through Facebook and Telegram app. He was in contact with his outfit members of Syria, including Jawlani and other countries through various chat applications and protected sites. The government had told Parliament on 9 August that according to available data, more than 14,000 Rohingyas, registered with the UNHCR, were staying in India.

However, some inputs indicate that around 40,000 undocumented Rohingyas were staying in India, mostly in Jammu, Hyderabad, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi-NCR and Rajasthan regions.

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Updated Date: Sep 18, 2017 21:49:52 IST

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