The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has arrested a Popular Front of India (PFI) "master weapons trainer", living under an fake identity in Karnataka, for his alleged involvement in the Nizamabad terror conspiracy case.
In a statement, the NIA said that the case pertains to a criminal conspiracy hatched by the leaders and cadres of the now banned Islamist outfit PFI to recruit and radicalise youth and provide them with arms training to promote and carry out terrorist activities with the ultimate objective of establishing Islamic rule in India.
The 33-year-old accused, Nossam Mohamed Yunus alias Yunus of Nandyal, was working in the inverter business of his elder brother. When his house was searched in September 2022, he was found to be absconding along with his wife and two minor sons.
NIA investigations have revealed that he had shifted his entire family from Andhra Pradesh and was hiding out in the Cowl Bazar area of Bellary district of Karnataka, where he had assumed a new identity – Basheer, and a new profession as a plumber.
"Yunus was a master weapons trainer and was providing weapons training to the youth recruited by PFI in the Andhra Pradesh and Telangana region," the anti-terror probe agency said in the statement on Wednesday (14 June).
He was also the PE Training State Coordinator for these two states in the Nizamabad PFI case.
Yunus, who has been giving evasive replies during NIA interrogation, has named one Shaikh Ilyas Ahmed as also being involved in the PFI Weapons Training programme, the agency said, adding that Ilyas is currently absconding.
"With his arrest, NIA has once again exposed PFI’s radical nefarious plans to drive a communal wedge among the communities and to use innocent Muslim youth to disturb and disrupt peace and communal harmony in the country," the agency said.
Telangana Police had initially registered an FIR in the case on 4 July last year, which was taken over by the NIA.
The anti-terror probe agency re-registered the case in Hyderabad.
The NIA has so far filed two chargesheets against 16 accused persons in this case.
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