In a major development, nine Al-Qaeda militants were arrested on Saturday morning during multiple raids that were conducted by National Investigation Agency in Kerala and Bengal, an NDTV report stated.
In the report, NIA was quoted stating that the raids were conducted in West Bengal's Murshidabad and Kerala's Ernakulam, the probe agency NIA said.
"NIA had learnt about an inter-state module of Al-Qaeda operatives at various locations in India, including West-Bengal and Kerala. The group was planning to undertake terrorist attacks at vital installations in India with an aim to kill innocent people and strike terror," an official statement by the NIA read.
"While six terrorists were arrested from Bengal, three terrorists were arrested from Kerala in the early morning raids", the NDTV report said. The militants have been identified as Murshid Hasan, Iyakub Biswas, Mosaraf Hossen, Najmus Sakib, Abu Sufiyan, Mainul Mondal, Leu Yean Ahmed, Al Mamun Kamal and Atitur Rehman
"Large quantity of incriminating materials including digital devices, documents, jihadi literature, sharp weapons, country-made firearms, a locally fabricated body armour, articles and literature used for making home-made explosive devices have been seized from their possession," the NIA said, adding that "these individuals were radicalised by Pakistan-based Al-Qaeda terrorists on social media and were motivated to undertake attacks at multiple places including Delhi-NCR".
The module was "actively indulging in fund-raising and a few members of the gang were planning to travel to Delhi to procure arms and ammunition," as per the initial investigation, the report further added.