News / Asia

India Arrests Terror Suspect

 Indian man holds a copy of handout pictures released by the police showing Indian Mujahideen operative and alleged mastermind of the July 2011 Mumbai serial blasts, Yasin Bhatkal, at a press conference in Mumbai.
Indian man holds a copy of handout pictures released by the police showing Indian Mujahideen operative and alleged mastermind of the July 2011 Mumbai serial blasts, Yasin Bhatkal, at a press conference in Mumbai.
Anjana Pasricha
Indian police have arrested a top leader of a domestic terrorist group which allegedly masterminded several deadly attacks across the country. It is being described as India’s most significant breakthrough in the fight against terrorism.   
 
In a brief statement on Thursday, Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde confirmed the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal, who is allegedly one of the founders of the Islamic terrorist group, the Indian Mujahideen.   
 
“Yasin has been traced and he is under the custody of Bihar police. The interrogation is going on,” he said.  
 
The eastern Bihar state shares a border with Nepal, along which the 30-year-old militant was detained on Wednesday night.
 
"Big catch"

Bhatkal’s arrest is being called a “big catch” for Indian security agencies. He is accused in a string of terror strikes that struck New Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Hyderabad and other cities in recent years. The group he heads was blamed for planting bombs which led to the deaths of hundreds of people.
 
The Indian Mujahideen was outlawed in 2010 after it was suspected of organizing a blast in a popular restaurant in western Pune city which killed 17 people including five foreigners. Its most recent suspected strike was a dual bomb attack that killed 16 people outside a movie theater and a bus stand in the southern city of Hyderabad earlier this year.   
 
Membership in the Islamic terror group is believed to have grown following the 1992 destruction of a Muslim mosque in north India and a wave of communal violence in 2002 in the western Gujarat state which killed 1,000 people, mostly Muslims.  
 
Officials hope Bhatkal’s arrest will help them unravel the terror network and establish how it is funded.  
 
Commenting on the arrest of the top militant, India’s Foreign Minister, Salman Khurshid, expressed satisfaction that terrorists are not finding safe havens any longer.
 
He says India has been continuously advocating to the world the need to deny shelter to such terrorists and attitudes are changing.  
 
He says wherever terrorists are flushed out, India will welcome it.
 
Pakistan connection

India has frequently accused Pakistan of sheltering and refusing to hand over militants whom New Delhi says promote terrorism in India.
 
Indian officials say Bhatkal’s home-grown Islamic militant group also has links to Pakistan-based militant groups like the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad.   
 
Bhatkal’s arrest is the second success for Indian security agencies in recent days - ten days ago India took into custody another top militant, Abdul Karim Tunda, who officials say is a senior member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba. He allegedly helped plan more than 40 bomb blasts in India.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Head: Breach Won't Happen Again

Julia Pierson tells a House panel investigating a recent intrusion at the White House: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid