Probe focus on 'module with LeT links' busted by Bangalore police

FP

An alleged terror module with bases in Bangalore, Hubli, Hyderabad and Nanded, believed to be linked to the Indian Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Toiba, has emerged as a key suspect in the Hyderabad twin blasts probe.

The module was busted last August by the Bangalore police when they arrested 15 youth and accused them of plotting attacks on right-wing personalities in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. Last week, a chargesheet was filed against 12 of them by the NIA which took over the probe.

Sources said that other members of this alleged module, or those who may have been associated with it, were still at large and are being pursued in connection with Thursday's blasts in Hyderabad in which 16 people were killed and about 90 wounded.

A NIA team reached Bangalore Saturday to question Obaid-ur-Rahman, 22, the grandson of Hyderabad cleric Maulana Naseeruddin and one of the 12 in judicial custody there, in connection with the Hyderabad probe, sources said.

The link to this module is believed to have emerged as investigators connected the dots to the alleged disclosure by IM operative Syed Maqbool that he and an associate, Imran Khan, had surveyed Dilsukhnagar in July last year to plot an attack.

Maqbool and Khan were arrested by the Delhi police last October for their alleged role in the August 1 low-intensity bomb blasts in Pune. Maqbool's name figured in the Bangalore investigations as he is suspected to have known Rahman and Mohammed Akram, 24, from Nanded in Maharashtra, both of whom are named in the NIA chargesheet filed last week.

Rahman is a nephew of terror-suspect Farahtullah Ghori, who is now in Saudi Arabia and in close contact with the Bhatkal brothers who founded IM. In fact, Rahman himself has allegedly been in touch with Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal in Pakistan, a lead that emerged in the investigations leading to his arrest.

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