Police have arrested three alleged Muslim militants suspected of planning a terror campaign in New Delhi, the Indian capital.
The suspected members of the outlawed Indian Mujahideen were allegedly planning attacks during the major Hindu festival season which starts later this month.
Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar told a press conference yesterday that they also planned to carry out strikes in the temple city of Bodhgaya, a Buddhist hub in the eastern state of Bihar.
The arrests of Asad Khan, Imran Khan and Syed Feroze over the past two weeks is seen as a major breakthrough, Kumar said. The men also had alleged links with Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistani terror group which has claimed responsibility for previous terrorist attacks in India.
Asad Khan, a computer specialist and an alleged recruiter for the group, was arrested along with Imran Khan at their hideout on September 26. Feroze was arrested at the city’s Nizamuddin railway station on October 1.
Explosives, detonators, batteries and nails to be used in bombs were also recovered from the suspects, the police commissioner said.
He accused the men of being responsible for several small explosions in the western city of Pune in August, in which one person was injured.
A Pune cafe popular with foreigners was the target of a 2010 bombing that killed 17 people.
It is reported that the questioning of Syed Zabiuddin Ansari was a major factor in apprehending the alleged terrorists. Ansari, an Indian citizen, is thought to be a key player in the 2008 attacks in Mumbai which killed 166 people. He was arrested at New Delhi airport in June.
Sources in the Indian intelligence community told ucanews.com they had reason to suspect that al-Qaeda is eyeing a series of major strikes against indigenous people in the Myanmar-Assam border area.