IM cadre who gave refuge to Yasin Bhatkal arrested

Continuing its crackdown on Indian Mujahideen, Delhi Police and central security agencies have arrested one more important cadre of the terror outfit who had provided refuge to top IM operative Yasin Bhatkal in November last year.

The accused identified as Talha Abdali alias Israr was apprehended from Barabanki in Uttar Pradesh on Sunday and was brought to the national capital where he was being jointly interrogated by a team of police, intelligence and National Investigation Agency (NIA), official sources said.

Abdali is considered an important ideologue of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) and his name has surfaced in 2008 and had been on run since then.

During intensified investigations since November when Delhi Police apprehended six IM members, his name cropped up in almost every second intercept.

"JNU" figured in one of the intercepted conversations prompting sleuths of special team formed by Delhi Police under Deputy Commissioner of Police Ashok Chand and intelligence officials to increase surveillance in the University.

However, as they closed in on Abdali in Barabanki and arrested him, it came to light that the JNU mentioned in the conversation was a reference to a Unani college in Uttar Pradesh.

The arrested IM operatives in November had told Abdali's name to the investigators and had said that Yasin Bhatkal alias Shahrukh had taken refuge at his place in November last year when security agencies had increased surveillance following the September 7 Delhi High Court blast.

Police had last week arrested a founder-member of Indian Mujahideen, Mohd Tarique Anjuman from suburbs of Patna.

Anjuman was an active member of banned SIMI organisation since 1998 and later was one of the founder members of Indian Mujahideen since 2003 along with Iqbal Bhatkal.

The IM member is believed to be one of the ideologues who used to motivate youths to join the terror outfit and provide them arms training.

During last decade or so, he has been frequently visiting Bhatkal village in north Karnataka.

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