IB, RAW grill terror man Halim

via VR Jayaraj | Kozhikode published on July 23, 2009

Officials of the IB and RAW have reportedly got several details of the terror network in the South and its connection to overseas outfits like LeT from terror blast man Muhammad Abdul Halim, arrested the other day for his involvement in the twin-blasts at the bus terminals Kozhikode in 2006. The sleuths had interrogated the terror man here on Thursday morning. He was brought to Kozhikode from Kochi late Wednesday night.

Sources in the police said that the intention of the interrogation of Halim by Central officials was to get clues about the extent of the terror operations in the country and their connections outside. Halim, who had played a vital role in the Bangalore blasts, had given several valid clues to the police the other day on his links with the Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and about his associates like Nazeer of Kannur, the chief commandant of the terror outfit in the South.

Judicial First Class Magistrate S Rasmi on Thursday remanded Halim in custody till August 6 after he was brought to the court amid tight security at noon. The Kerala Police would file petition – most probably on Friday – to get him in their custody for further interrogation and evidence-gathering in connection with the twin-blasts case as well as other explosives-related affairs. Halim submitted in the court that he was being kept in unlawful custody for several days.

Police sources said that he would be taken to the sites of the March, 2006 blasts at the Moffusil Bus Stand and the KSRTC Bus Terminal in Kozhikode for evidence-gathering. The blasts in Kozhikode, like the July 11 explosion at the Ernakulam district collectorate building, were of low intensity but the police were now convinced that these were a “dry run” for the big terror act in Bangalore last year.

Halim would also be taken to the Madrassa office in Panur, Kannur, where according to him, the bombs used in the Kozhikode explosion, were assembled. Presently, there were five accused in the blasts case, in which he was the third accused, while accused number one was Nazeer, the LeT commander who was absconding. Sources said more persons could be named as accused as the probe progressed.

Halim had learned the art of bomb-making from Abdul Sattar alias Sainuddeen aka Sattar Bahi who was presently in the custody of the Karnataka Police his role in the manufacture of the explosives used in the Bangalore blasts. According to Kerala Police, Halim was the man who had carried out all the preliminary preparations for the blasts in the Garden City.

Halim had told the police that the terror group working under Nazeer as part of a coalition called Noorish-e-Tariqat had been receiving funds from inside Kerala and outside, including Pakistan. Nazeer, who the police now believed was in Pakistan, had been getting Rs 250,000 for each young man he recruited into the network.

Meanwhile, the Additional Sessions Court in Thalassery was converted into a virtual fortress with the deployment of personnel from various wings of the police in as part of the preparation for the trail of the terror cases staring Friday. Seven accused would be brought for trial here in the case which had a total of 22 accused.

Accused number seven to ten were killed in encounter with the security forces in Kupwara in Kashmir in October last. The police had earlier filed the chargesheet against the 22 accused in the court.

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