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NIA nabs Odisha-born LeT handler at Delhi airport

Habibur Rehman

New Delhi: A terrorist handler for Lashkar-e-Taiba group was arrested from the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi, the National Investigation Agency said on Monday.

Habibur Rahman alias Habib, a resident of Kendrapara district in Odisha was arrested by anti-terror agency on Sunday after Saudi Arabia deported him.

According to the NIA, Habibur Rahman was one of the handlers of LeT terrorist Shaikh Abdul Naeem alias Nomi, who was initially arrested in 2007 while trying to infiltrate two Pakistani and one Kashmiri terrorist into India through Bangladesh.

Naeem, however escaped from custody while he was being taken for court attendance to Maharashtra from Kolkata in August, 2014. Later, he joined terror operations on the directions of his handlers based in Pakistan and in Saudi Arabia.

“A well-established conspiracy was hatched between the accused for targeting vulnerable locations in India with intent of causing maximum damage,” the NIA said.

According to NIA, Naeem was assigned task to identify locations where terrorist attacks could be carried out. For this purpose, Naeem assumed different fake identities and visited different states including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh.

Habibur Rahman arranged hideouts and funds for Shaikh Abdul Naeem on different occasions for carrying out terrorist activities in India on the directions of the LeT terrorist Amjad alias Rehan who is based in Pakistan, the NIA said.

Habibur, Naeem and eight other people were formally charged before a court on terrorism charges in November 2017.

Rehman will be produced before Delhi’s Patiala House Courts by the NIA to seek custody for his interrogation, said a source.

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