(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, Dec 10 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has detained a businessman from Bengaluru and a few more persons after arresting 15 people, including Mohammad Saquib Abdul Hamid Nachan, who was convicted for possession of firearms in connection with the three train bomb blasts in Mumbai.
The NIA on Saturday swooped down at 44 locations in Maharashtra and Karnataka and arrested 15 people in connection with the IS conspiracy case.
Sources said the agency has detained some more people, including a businessman from Bengaluru, and is questioning them for their links with the arrested accused.
The source said that they were detained after the anti-terror probe agency found the communication and some financial transactions between them.
The source said that it was verifying the facts like -- why these people were in touch with the accused and what kind of transactions took place.
The person detained from Bengaluru has been identified as Ali Hafeez, who is a resident of Gujarat.
The officials, however, remained tight-lipped.
Meanwhile, Nachan, a former general secretary of the banned terror organisation SIMI, was also arrested by the NIA.
Nachan was released from jail in November 2017 and was known for being convicted for the 2002 and 2003 blasts at Mumbai Central railway station, Vile Parle and Mulund.
He was convicted for possessing weapons under the Prevention of Terrorist Act (POTA) and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.
After being released from prison, Nachan left for his village Padhga in Thane (Maharashtra) with his relatives.
He was arrested by the NIA from his village Padhga
The NIA in a statement on Saturday evening said that its initial probe revealed that the arrested accused had self-declared the village of Padgha in rural Thane as a 'liberated zone' and as 'Al Sham'.
"They were motivating impressionable Muslim youths to relocate in Padgha from their place of residence for strengthening the Padgha base," the NIA said.
"Mohammad Saquib Abdul Hamid Nachan aka Raveesh, the main accused and the self-declared leader of the arrested persons, had self-assumed the rights of administering 'bayath' (oath of allegiance towards the Khalifa of ISIS ) to the persons joining the proscribed organisation," the official claimed.
The NIA said besides Nachan, others arrested during the crackdown have been identified as Hasib Zuber Mulla aka Haseeb Zubair Mulla, Kashif Abdul Sattar Balere, Saif Ateeque Nachan, Rehan Ashfaque Suse, Shagaf Safiq Divkar, Firoz Dastagir Kuwari, Adil Iliyas Khot, Firoz Dastagir Kuwari, Adil Iliyas Khot, Musab Haseeb Mulla, Rafil Abdul Latif Nachan, Yahya Ravish Khot, Razil Abdul Latif Nachan, Farhan Ansar Suse, Mukhlis Maqbool Nachan and Munzir Abubakar Kunnathpeedikal.
All the accused originally hailed from district Thane of Maharashtra, the NIA said.
The official claimed that while Adil Khot was found in possession of the Hamas flags, the weapons (guns, knives and swords) were recovered from Firoz Dastagir Kuwan, Razil Abxul Nachan, Zeeshan Ajaz Mulla and Mukhlis Maqbool Nachan.
"The cash was seized from Saif Ateeque Nachan, Rehan Ashfaq Suse and Atif Nasir Mulla," the official said.
This is for the first time that the Indian agencies have recovered Hamas flags in the country following the surprise October 7 terror attack on Israel by Hamas terrorists.
NIA had taken over the case on November 6 this year under various sections of IPC, UA(P) Act and Explosive Substances Act, on the directions of the Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The case was previously being probed by the Special Cell of Delhi Police following the arrest of three IS terrorists -- Shahnawaz Alam, Mohammad Rizwan Ashraf and Mohammad Arshad Warsi -- on the basis of credible source information.
Since taking over the case, the NIA has undertaken strong and concerted actions to destroy the various IS modules and networks, the official added.
In the last few months, the NIA has conducted large-scale raids and busted different IS modules by arresting several terror operatives in the IS terror conspiracy case in a bid to scuttle the organisation's heinous and violent anti-India agenda.
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