New Delhi: The Special Cell of the Delhi Police calimed to have arrested a suspected terrorist of the Al-Qaeda group from Nuh town in Mewat district of Haryana.
The individual, aged 32 years, has been identified as Abdul Sami, sources said, adding that he hailed from Jamshedpur in Jharkhand and was currently jobless. Police believe Sami to be a key operative of Al-Qaeda's module in the Indian subcontinent AQIS.
"Abdul Sami, was arrested by Delhi Police's Special Cell from Nuh town in Mewat. He was brought to New Delhi and produced before a court which remanded him in police custody till February 1," Special Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Arvind Deep said.
Primary investigations have revealed that Sami had travelled to Mansehra in Pakistan in January 2014 via Dubai and Lahore, where he attended a weapons training camp organised by the the AQIS. He returned to India on January 15, 2015.
According to police sources, Sami was in constant touch with AQIS commander Abdul Rahman. Sami is also believed to have been handed an important task by the AQIS commander, but was arrested before he could carry it out.
The arrest assumes significance in view of AL Qaeda's announcement of launching a wing in the Indian subcontinent last year in September.
"We want Islam to return to the Indian subcontinent, which was part of the Muslim world before it was invaded. It will serve Muslims in Burma, Kashmir, Gujarat, Bangladesh, Ahmedabad and Assam," Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri had said in a video message.
On January 6, the Special Cell had arrested Maulana Anzar Shah, a cleric from Bangalore, for alleged links with AQIS. In December, they had arrested three suspected AQIS operatives. While Mohammed Asif (41), the first one to be arrested from Seelampur in Delhi, is believed to be one of the founding members and the head (amir) of AQIS's motivation, recruitment and training wing, another operative Abdul Rahman (37) was arrested from Jagatpur area of Cuttack in Odisha.
The third alleged AQIS terrorist nabbed was Zafar Masood, who allegedly acted as a financier for the module. He was arrested from mohalla Deepa Sarai in UP's Sambhal district. Shah, the fourth to be arrested, had allegedly met Mohammed Asif at a religious congregation in Bangalore, following which he was introduced to Abdul Rahman and Zafar Masood.
Earlier in 2015, the United States announced that it had destroyed what it said was the largest al-Qaeda camp detected in Afghanistan where upwards of 150 AQIS personnel were thought to have been training.
Pamphlets and videos recovered from the site threw up evidence that many of the recruits spoke Urdu and Bengali, officials said.
There has also been speculation that the newly appointed AQIS chief was an Indian national. Known to the world as Maulana Asim Umar, he was appointed amir of AQIS by al-Zawahiri last year. He has never been photographed and wears a digital mask in propaganda videos.
(With PTI inputs)