Monday, January 28, 2008

Coastal K’taka developing into terror hub

HUBLI/BANGALORE: With the arrest of three suspected Islamic radicals in Davanagere and detention of two medical students in Hubli, the probabilities of a huge terror network between the coastal lines of Goa-Karwar- Mangalore suggested by the Military Intelligence and the Karnataka State Intelligence seems to be coming true.Shockingly, more professional engineering and medical students are being roped into the terror network, while locals in these areas help terror groups, especially Pakistan-based ones.

Senior police officials in the Anti-Terrorist Cell say that Karnataka seems to be a soft target for them, because of the poor security system in the coastal areas. “Places like Hubli and Bidar are central points for development of sleeper cells, recruitment and training of Islamic radicals, while the sea route through Kerala was used to transfer fake currency notes and weapons,” said the police official.Central Intelligence sources say that terrorist modules have been planning to travel to three sensitive areas, Karnataka, Mumbai and Goa.

This is primarily because of the progress in economy. Their aim is to destabilise the booming economy, said a source.Karnataka provides excellent areas for covert operations of both crime syndicates and subversive groups, it added. Other than Karwar, Puttur, Bantwal and Bhatkal are places where there is a huge circulation of fake currencies, main source of which is Dubai.

WHAT TRIGGERED THE TRUTH?On Jan 11, 2008, sub-inspector of Honnali police station, Davanagere district, U H Satenahalli, got suspicious of Asadullah alias Abubaker Enegi alias Aslam and his friend Riyazuddin Nazir who were moving around. Another man accused of terror links Shabbir was also detained by the police on the same day. Asadullah was said to have a residence at Hanumanth Nagar, Hubli. During his interrogation, it was revealed that these accused were taking the help of one Mohammed Asif to hide duplicate keys and RCs.

The police recovered CDs containing software network, teachings of Madarasas situated in Madur in Kerala, tourist maps of Karnataka, Goa, Udupi and Mangalore, ATM cards and a bag containing 2000 US dollars.Meanwhile, the Central Intelligence and the State Intelligence are aware of the fact that Karnataka has always been the target for terrorists. This point became stronger after the revelations of six Al-Badr men arrested in Kutch in March last year. They indicated that Pakistan-based terror groups had been planning to set their base in coastal areas, especially Karwar, which houses INS Kadamba, a strategic Navy base.

The men during interrogation had said that the terror group were in the process of circulating fake currency notes in coastal areas of Karnataka, and also transport weapons before setting their base in the region, by July, 2007.

Terror suspects had targeted Hubli airport:

HUBLI: In a startling revelation, sources in the intelligence said that the suspects detained at Davanagere had targeted Hubli airport and had been preparing for it since a couple of months.Police sources revealed that the one of the suspect was brought to Hubli for identification at an internet browsing centre, after his arrest in Davanagere.

This website's newspaper which bumped upon this information traced it to a browsing centre on Gokul Road near Manjunath Nagar Cross, where the suspect is said to have sought to browse the net. "I remember it very well, he came three months ago during MBBS exams. He was acting in a suspicious manner. He sought to browse for 10 minutes," said the person in-charge of the browsing centre.

On observing him further, one of the employees found him downloading some maps of the Hubli airport. "We reported to the police immediately, but, he got alerted and fled the scene on his Yamaha Libero bike. The police bikes were not a match to his speed as he wheeled his bike before he fled," he said.Interestingly, after the two suspects were arrested a few days ago, a senior police officer from Davanagere came with the same person to the browsing centre. The police official cross-checked with the browsing centre owner, asking him whether it was the same person who had fled the scene few months ago.

"He has cut short his beard. But some of my friends who were have here identified him," he said. The maps found with the suspects were of places like Hubli, Udupi, Bangalore, Davanagere and Karwar. Sources said that the maps of Hubli and Bangalore were marked with red ink and maps of Udupi and Davanagere had green marks which the police suspect as the target places.

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