Madurai: In a joint operation with police of two states, NIA on Monday arrested three persons suspected to be part of a group sympathising with Al Qaeda and involved in five blast cases in court premises of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka since April.
Swooping down on various locations, National Investigation Agency (NIA) with the help of Tamil Nadu and Telangana Police, apprehended four youths for their involvement in the blasts at court complexes.
"During sustained examination, three of the four confessed about their involvement in these blasts," NIA spokesman said, adding three of them have been placed under arrest while the fourth was still being questioned.
The cases relate to blasts inside a vehicle at a parking place at district court complex, in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh on April 7; in a parking area of CJM Court Complex at Kollam in Kerala on June 15; inside court complex at Mysuru on August 1, in Nellore of Andhra Pradesh on September 12 and inside a toilet complex of judicial court, Malappuram in Kerala on November 1.
Those arrested are Abbas Ali (27), a resident of Madurai, Suleiman (23), a resident of Chennai and Samsum Karim Raja of Madurai. Ali studied up to class VIII and worked as a painter. He also ran a library in the name 'Darul Ilm' at Madurai. Suleiman was working in a software firm and was the main leader of the terrorist gang.
Raja is a Commerce graduate and runs a chicken broiler shop at Kannimara Koil street in Madurai. The role of the fourth one, Mohammed Ayub Ali (25) of Madurai, who works as a public liaison officer for a hearing aid company, was being examined by the NIA, the spokesman said.
The group had claimed responsibility for these blasts and circulated pamphlets, pen drives and CDs in the name of "The Base Movement", translation of the word Al Qaeda. The three arrested persons will be produced before the local courts in Chennai and Madurai for seeking transit remand for taking them to NIA special court at Bangalore, where the agency has registered a case relating to Mysuru blast case.