Odisha man arrested by NIA over Lashkar-e-Taiba links

Bhubaneswar/ New Delhi: National Investigation Agency (NIA) yesterday arrested Habibur Rahman, a resident of Kendrapara in Odisha on charges of being a terrorist handler of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

As per a press release of NIA, Rahman who is currently based in Riyadh in Saudi Arabia was arrested from IGI Airport in New Delhi yesterday and is being produced in Patiala House Court today to take him on remand for interrogation.

Acting  DGP of Odisha, Satyajit Mohanty stated that, “Odisha’s Special Task Force is in contact with NIA and if needed we will assist them in probe here.”

According to reports, Habib was one of the handlers of LeT terrorist Shaikh Abdul Naeem who was arrested in 2007 while trying to infiltrate two Pakistani and one Kashmiri terrorist into India via Bangladesh.

Shaikh Abdul Naeem alias Nomi later on escaped from custody while he was being taken for court attendance to Maharashtra from Kolkata in August 2014, informed NIA sources.

As per the NIA press release, after his escape from custody, Nomi again started his nefarious activities 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, read the NIA release.

As per official sources, Naeem was asked to identify locations where terrorist attacks could be carried out. On getting directions, Naeem visited different States including Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh and did reconnaissance of possible targets for terrorist attacks.

According to NIA, Habibur Rahman, who is affiliated to LeT, arranged shelter/hideouts and funds for Nomi on different occasions for carrying out terrorist activities in India on the directions of the LeT commander Amjad alias Rehan, who is based in Pakistan.

Nomi was then subsequently arrested by NIA in Nov 2017 and he has been chargesheeted along with 10 other co-accused including Habibur.

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