Continuing its probe into covert activities of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a man hailing Bihar in the national capital, its official spokesman said here today.
Alam is the fourth person to be arrested by the NIA in the case which was registered in December last year following the arrest of Abdul Nayeem Sheikh, a resident of Maharashtra.
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The accused was produced before a designated court which remanded him in two days' police custody, the spokesman said.
Besides Sheikh and Alam, the other two arrested in the case are Dhannu Raja, a resident of Gopalganj in Bihar, and Touseef Ahmed Malik, a resident of Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the NIA spokesman, Alam had facilitated and provided logistic, financial support and shelter to Shaikh, who was an active cadre of LeT, a proscribed terrorist organisation, and visited and established bases in Bihar, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir on the advice of his handler based in Pakistan.
Mahfooz also facilitated raising, receiving and collecting fund by Shaikh through International Money Transfer Services such as Western Union Money Transfer by providing his identity documents. These funds were to be later used for carrying out terrorist activities by Shaikh Abdul Nayeem, the NIA spokesman said.
His interrogation led to raids by the NIA at various places in Uttar Pradesh's Muzaffarnagar on two Hawala operators Dinesh Garg and Adesh Kumar Jain, the spokesman said.
During the search of the shop and residence of Garg, the NIA team seized around Rs 15 Lakh in cash, two currency note counting machines, one Indian-made pistol with ammunition, one laptop, four mobile phones, and various documents.
The recoveries made from the residence and shop of Jain includes cash (Indian currency) Rs 32.84 lakh, one Chinese-made pistol with ammunition, some documents containing mobile numbers of associates, currency notes of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, USA, Japan, Thailand, Oman, and electronic devices including two laptops and three mobile phones.
The names of these two hawala operators had surfaced in the chain of terror financing channel of the LeT module being investigated by the NIA, the spokesman said.
The case started after the arrest of Sheikh, a resident of Aurangabad, from Lucknow in November last year and during investigation it was found that he had spent some time in trouble-torn south Kashmir and taken pictures of some Army installations, officials said.
The central security agencies, which interrogated Sheikh at length, had told the investigators about his accomplice, Tauseef Ahmed Malik, in Pulwama district of south Kashmir. He was placed under arrest by the NIA on December 9.
During interrogation, Sheikh disclosed that he had stayed in Pulwama, moved to various places with the help of Malik and even photographed some Army and para-military camps, the officials claimed.
Sheikh, who was wanted in connection with a 2014 terror case and had been on the run, told investigators that some important power projects and railway tracks in the valley were surveyed, they said.
He had also visited some places in Himachal Pradesh, especially Kasol, which is frequented by Israeli nationals visiting India, according to the officials.
Security agencies have claimed that Sheikh was roped in for a recce mission similar to that undertaken by David Headley, a Pakistan-American, who is at present serving a prison sentence of 35 years at a US jail for his involvement in terror activities and the 26/11 Mumbai attacks of 2008.