Kerala engineer held in Bangalore for suspected terror links

February 22nd, 2008 - 9:19 pm ICT by admin  


Bangalore/Kozhikode, Feb 22 (IANS) Yahya Khan alias Kammukutty, a software engineer from Kerala, has been arrested in Bangalore for suspected links with terror groups and the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). The Bangalore police have launched a hunt for his four associates.

Yahya hails from Mukkom, 30 km east Kozhikode. He was picked up Thursday evening from his home in Guruappana Palya, a thickly populated area in Bangalore with a substantial Muslim population. A computer and some “jihadi” literature were seized from his house, the police said.

Guruappana Palya is one of the many localities along the Bannerghatta Road where leading IT companies like IBM, Oracle and Honeywell have offices.

The police said the 32-year-old Yahya Khan came to Bangalore about eight years back and first worked with TataInfotech and later at GE, from where he was sacked because of his suspicious behaviour. Since then he was running a software business from his residence.

Yahya, who is married and has three children, has been taken to Hubli in northern Karnataka from where another terror suspect, Mohammed Asif, a final year medical student, was arrested last month.

Asif provided information about Yahya and hence he is being taken to Hubli for further questioning, the police said. The police said they were keeping a watch on Yahya after Asif provided information about his involvement with SIMI.

Asif is also suspected to have links with SIMI, which officials say was active in Guruappana Palya area where it had an office till it was banned.

Besides Asif, the police have detained Asadullah Abubacker, a first year student of ayurvedic medicine, and Mohammed Ghouse alias Riyazuddin Nasir, son of a cleric in Hyderabad.

Abubacker and Nasir were arrested in early January from Honnali in the central Karnataka district of Davangere. Their interrogation led to Asif being picked up.

All three have been subjected to narco-analysis, polygraph and brain mapping tests.

While there is no official word on the information the three provided during these tests, local media reports said they have confessed to planning strikes against well-known temples, IT companies, dams and airports.

The police have been searching a forest area on the border of Dharwad and Uttara Kannada districts for a hidden arms cache as Asif has reportedly confessed to terror training camps being organised there at the behest of the banned Lashkar-e-Taeba.

Yahya did his engineering degree in electronics and communication from the National Institute of Technology-Kozhikode in 1996 and got a job in TataInfotech in campus recruitment. He is said to have changed his name to Yahya Ilyas Kammukutty after he got the job in Bangalore.

Yahya’s father Beerankutty told a TV channel in Kozhikode that his son had no links with any organisation. “He is a very devout Muslim, just like all others in the family. And I don’t think he will do anything wrong. These accusations are painful,” he said.

Yahya was home Sunday (Feb 17) and left Monday for Bangalore, Beerankutty said.

He was whisked away by four people from his home in Bangalore Tuesday, Beerankutty said, though according to Bangalore police he was arrested late Thursday evening.

Beerankutty said he went to Bangalore after learning about the arrest but failed to get any detail.

When contacted by IANS, the Kozhikode police refused to comment on the arrest.

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