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ATS-STF operation busted terror module

Counter-terrorism investigators on Sunday arrested four suspects for allegedly preparing young recruiters for terror activities and providing them logistical support.  The suspects were arrested from Saharanpur, Muzzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh.

One of four arrested is a Bangladeshi national, identified as Abdullah, who is believed to have close links with the Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) – a Bangladesh-based extremist group reportedly inspired by the Al Qaeda.

The arrests were carried out by a joint operation by the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Terror Squad  (ATS) and Special Task Force (STF). According to the sources, close to the Anti-Terror Squad, Abdullah had been living in Uttar Pradesh since 2011. Initially, he lived in Deoband, but moved to Muzaffarnagar’s Kutesara area last month.

Officials believe that Abdullah was involved in terror recruitment and providing fake identity cards and safe hideouts for Bangladeshi terror recruits in India. Fake Aadhar card, passport, 13 fake identity cards, bomb-making cookbook and jihadi-literature were also recovered.

Police have also recovered ‘illegal things’ from Abdullah’s hideout. He disclosed during the interrogation that another person Faizan was responsible for the whole operation. But Faizan managed to escape from his Deoband residence before the investigators could nab him, senior state police officer Anand Kumar said.

Bangladesh, in the recent years, has been witnessing growing number of terror attacks. The July 1, 2016 horrific attack on innocent civilians in an upscale bakery in Dhaka claimed 29 lives, mainly foreigners.

The ABT was also reportedly responsible for a series of attacks on secular writers and bloggers. The writers, who raised their voices against extreme ideology, were criticized for misinterpreting Islam. In 2015, the group had published a hit-list of international writers and bloggers including nine from UK and two from US.

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