New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) A senior operative of the Indian Mujahideen, Abdul Wahid Siddibapa, was arrested after he flew in here in what was said to be “a carefully calibrated operation”.
A court later sent Siddibapa to a week’s custody with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which made the arrest at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in the morning.
But NIA officials denied reports that Siddibapa, a cousin of Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, was deported from Dubai.
“It was a carefully calibrated operation. It is clarified that Wahid has not been deported or extradited,” NIA’s Inspector General S.K. Singh told IANS. He declined to say from where Siddibapa arrived.
NIA officials had said that the former perfume trader was based in the United Arab Emirates, which has in the past deported criminals wanted by Indian authorities.
Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Pandit sent Siddibapa, described as the financial brain of the terror outfit, to seven days of custody with NIA.
A resident of Maqdoom colony in Bhatkal in Karnataka, he was wanted on charges of conspiring to stage terror attacks at various places in India.
From Dubai, Siddibapa allegedly recruited young Indians for the Indian Mujahideen and funded their activities.
The NIA told the court that Siddibapa had been in touch with other Indian Mujahideen operatives through electronic communication.
“He was responsible in providing tactical, material and financial support to IM members in planning, preparing and organising terrorist activities,” said a NIA source.
He also reportedly played an important function in raising funds for the Indian Mujahideen. “He is one of the oldest and senior most members of the group,” the source said.
But Siddibapa’s defence counsel opposed the NIA plea and said his name was not on any list including the wanted criminal list.
A Red Corner Notice was issued for him in December 2013.
Siddibapa was wanted for his alleged involvement in the July 2006 Mumbai serial blasts, the 2008 Delhi blasts and the 2010 Chinnaswamy Stadium blast in Benguluru.
He allegedly routed money using both banking channels and the Western Union Money Transfer.
He left for Dubai much before the crackdown on the Indian Mujahideen started in 2008. He was detained in the United Arab Emirates and arrested in January 2014.