New Delhi: In a major catch for Indian authorities, a prominent al Qaeda operative has been arrested in Delhi, close on the heels of another terrorist’s arrest from the same outfit in Odisha.
The arrested terrorist in Delhi has been identified as Mohammad Asif, who is linked to al-Qaeda’s network in the Indian subcontinent.
During interrogation, Asif revealed the identity of Mulana Asim Umar, the self-proclaimed emir of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).
According to a report in CNN-IBN, Asif was allegedly present at the grand shura of al-Qaeda when the terror group’s Indian subcontinent wing was established.
Al-Qaeda chief Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri was also reportedly present at the shura.
Asif reportedly returned to India to establish the terror group. His interrogation also revealed that he was motivated to join the group through the social media.
Another terrorist from the same outfit, identified as Abdul Rehman was nabbed from a village in Odisha’s Cuttack district.
Acting in concert with a Delhi Police team, Rehman, 37, a resident of Paschimakachha village, was arrested on Tuesday night after tracking his phone calls, police sources said.
He was expected to be brought to New Delhi after being produced in a local court.
Rehman is suspected to have links in Saudi Arabia, Dubai, United Kingdom and Pakistan. His brother was arrested in the 2001 US consulate attack in Kolkata.
In 2014, when Ayaman al-Zawarhi established AQIS, Asif had translated Zawarhi’s speech in Hindi and Urdu. Asif is also trained in weapons.