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IANS

Two alleged activists of the banned Al Qaeda in Indian Sub- continent, arrested from West Bengal's North 24 Parganas district, had major plans for expanding sleeper cells in the state, especially in the minority-dominated pockets in its north region, officials said on Friday.

Both Raqib Sarkar and Kazi Ahshanullah have confided this in face of the interrogation by the sleuths of the special task force (STF), which arrested them from the residence of Ahshanullah at Shasan under Barasat sub-division in North 24 Parganas district on late Wednesday night, an official said.

Apart from that two other significant confessions have been made by the arrested duo to the STF sleuths. The first is that in the mission to expand the sleeper cell network, the target was not only the brain-washed youth from the state but also from neighbouring Bangladesh. Secondly, both have outlined the specific roles that each played in the sleeper cell network expansion.

Sarkar was mainly responsible for arranging the illegal infiltration of these Bangladeshi youth from the different border areas in West Bengal and arranging for their initial training. At the same time, he was also responsible for sending some of these trained youth to other states as directed by his superior, an official said.

At the same time, he was also entrusted with the task of Ansar (chief coordinator) of AQIS's external coordination wing in West Bengal. As the Ansar, his task was to coordinate with his counterparts in other states as well as in some of the neighbouring countries, especially Bangladesh. He also used to arrange for the safehouse of AQIS leaders coming to West Bengal from outside.

On the other hand, Ahshanullah was involved in mainly propaganda task like encouraging youth to study terrorist literature, distributing leaflets, forwarding jihad (revolution) related audio and video messages to the targeted youth. At the same time, once he trapped such youths, he used to act as the coordinator between the trapped youths and Sarkar to start their training process, an official said.

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