The Karnataka police arrested six youths, including four from Bengaluru, on Friday over their alleged links with the Islamic State terrorist outfit, state Home Minister G. Parameshwara said.
“Four people were arrested in Bengaluru and one each in Mangaluru and Tumakuru,” he told media persons at a press conference in Bengaluru. Those nabbed in Bengaluru are Asif, Afzal, Sayed and Ahad.
Suspect Nazmul Huda, who has been arrested from the Bajpe suburb in Mangalore, is also accused of encouraging youths to join the Islamic State. Huda is a dropout from a private engineering college in Bengaluru.
Syed Mujahid Husain, 25, was arrested in Tumakuru near Bengaluru.
Mangaluru and Tumakuru are located about 350 km and 70 km respectively from Bengaluru.
“The suspects are being interrogated by the National Investigation Agency about their roles and links,” Parameshwara said.
The arrests were followed by raids by NIA teams on the rented houses and hideouts of the suspects in Bengaluru.
Huge quantities of arms and ammunition were recovered and seized from the rented house of two of the suspects during the raids.
Earlier, Karnataka Director General of Police Om Prakash said that the Anti-Terrorist Squad was not informed and its help was not sought by the Central security agencies which made the arrests.
“Central agencies have the judicial powers to arrest any suspect in the country,” Prakash said.
Sources said raids were conducted on a tip-off that Islamic State sympathisers were planning bomb attacks on Republic Day in Bengaluru or any other place in the state.