The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Gujarat on Monday arrested a suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist. A youth from Bangladesh, linked to the banned terrorist organization, was apprehended based on inputs received from the Intelligence Bureau (IB).

The suspect Sojibmia, along with three other individuals identified as Aakash Khan, Munna Khan and Abdul Latif, was alleged to have illegally infiltrated into India from Bangladesh. They were residing in Odhav and Narol in Ahmedabad. The ATS acted on the basis of intelligence about the men possessing counterfeit Indian documents.

The arrested suspect was reportedly engaged in indoctrinating Muslim youths to join Al-Qaeda, spreading the extremist group’s propaganda, and channelling funds to its leaders. A case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) has been filed against the four at the ATS Police Station and an investigation has been launched.

The Gujarat ATS team apprehended Sojibmia Ahmedali, aged 28, a resident of Sukhram Estate in the Odhav area of Ahmedabad. Ahmed Ali, originally from Khudro village in the Mymensingh district of Bangladesh, was allegedly radicalized by his many contacts in Bangladesh and eventually became a member of Al-Qaeda.

Ahmedali was reportedly in touch with a Bangladeshi person named Shariful Islam, who encouraged him to join Al-Qaeda. Following this, Ahmedali was introduced to the Mymensingh district’s chief of the Al-Qaeda organization, a man named Shayba, by Shariful Islam.

Shayba assigned Ahmedali the task of radicalizing other youths, recruiting for Al-Qaeda, and amassing funds. Furthermore, he was also trained in using encrypted chat applications, TOR, and VPN for covert communications.

ATS Deputy Inspector General Dipen Bhadran said, “Shayba, the handler of this module, had given them assurances and provided his own testimony in the name of Shayba. During the interrogation, it came to light that Ahmed Ali’s associates, Munna Khan (alias Munna Khalid Ansari) and Aakash Khan (alias Jahangir alias Adharul Islam Kafiluddin Ansari), were also associated with Al-Qaeda.”

These individuals had also illegally entered India and created fake documents to establish themselves in the country. Information retrieved from these individuals has been instrumental in furthering the investigation, which has revealed a more extensive network of this terror module across India.