NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) busted a sleeper module of the proscribed Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in Karnataka on Sunday and recovered hand grenades and raw material for making improvised explosive devices (IEDs) among other materials.
The crackdown on a cell that operated within the jurisdiction of the Soladevenahalli police station in north Bengaluru comes five years after the group carried out the 2014 blasts in West Bengal’s Burdwan district in which two people were injured.
Habibur Rehman, a key figure in JMB, that NIA nabbed in late June, revealed key aspects of the group’s operations. The probe agency then launched a covert operation against the group in Karnataka.
“Based on the disclosure of Rehman, who is a member of proscribed JMB, the NIA recovered five fabricated hand grenades, a timer device, three electric circuits, suspected explosive substance, different components for making IEDs and rockets," said an NIA spokesperson.
The probe agency said that Rehman’s testimony proved pivotal in averting a terror strike against India.
“These hand grenades were fabricated as a part of a conspiracy to commit terrorist acts in different parts of the state. He (Rehman) and other members of JMB were involved in raising funds by committing dacoities in Bengaluru in 2018. The recovery (of the grenades and other materials) has been made while Rehman is in police remand," the spokesperson said. The NIA, which has been working at zeroing in on several terror groups in the country, including the Islamic State (IS), said that Rehman was remanded to police custody by the NIA court in Kolkata and chargesheeted in the Burdwan blast case.
“He was a part of a JMB module that intended to wage war against the democratic set up of the state by conspiring to commit terrorist acts," the spokesperson said.
The NIA has now registered a case under relevant sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code.
In May, the ministry of home affairs had issued a gazette notification warning of the group’s plan to expand its bases in India. MHA had stated that the group also intended to establish permanent bases within 10 kilometres of the India-Bangladesh border in the eastern states of Tripura, Assam and West Bengal.