Alert in Sambhal after arrest of Mohammed Asif suspected al-Qaeda operative

Sambhal (UP): An alert has been sounded in the district after it emerged that a suspected al-Qaeda operative had links with youths here, police said.

Two suspected al Qaeda operatives were arrested from the national capital and Odisha yesterday as Delhi Police claimed to have busted a module of the terror group in the Indian subcontinent that was operating out of the country.

While Mohammed Asif (41) was held from Seelampur in northeast Delhi, another operative, Abdul Rahman (37) was nabbed in Jagatpur area of Cuttack in Odisha, police said.

According to police, it was found during interrogation that Asif had links with some youths who are all natives of Deepa Sarai mohalla in Sambhal district.

“An alert has been sounded in the district after the arrests yesterday in Delhi and Odisha.
“Directives have been issued for verification of workers in factories and a search operation has been started,” said Superintendent of Police Atul Saxena.

Hotels and guesthouses, too, are being checked, he added.

Asif is believed to be one of the founding members and the Indian head (amir) of al Qaeda in the Indian sub-continent’s (AQIS) motivation, recruitment and training wing.

AQIS was floated by al-Zawahari himself in September, 2014, following a meeting in the Af-Pak region which reportedly had in its quorum the entire grand council (Arabian Shura) of al-Qaeda, including al-Zawahiri’s son-in-law, said a senior official.