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Is Pakistan’s ISI Behind Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe Blast? NIA Probe Indicates

Following the arrest of two suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case in Bengaluru, the NIA seeks 'Colonel,' the alleged handler in contact with Abdul Matheen Taha and Mussavir Hussain Shazib. Colonel, believed to operate from the Middle East, may have ties to Pakistan's ISI. A special NIA court granted 10 days custody for further investigation.

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Apr 22, 2024 09:14 IST
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Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe Blast
Bengaluru Rameshwaram Cafe Blast

A week after the arrest of two suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case in Bengaluru, the NIA is now searching for ‘Colonel,’ the alleged online handler who was reportedly in contact with Abdul Matheen Taha and Mussavir Hussain Shazib, according to sources cited by Hindustan Times.

The three suspects have been in contact since their association with the IS Al-Hind module in 2019–20, leading the investigating agency to suspect a Pakistan link in the case.

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“We came to know that the handler known as Colonel after the Mangaluru autorickshaw blast in November 2022. He is believed to operate from a location in the Middle East, with Abu Dhabi being a probable base,” stated a senior counterterrorism official, as reported by HT.

Colonel is believed to play a significant role in persuading several young men in southern India to carry out attacks on places of worship and notable figures, providing them with funds through crypto wallets, according to the report. Authorities are considering the possibility of Colonel having links with Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), to revive terrorist activities by establishing small Islamic State (IS) modules. The ISI has sponsored terrorist modules in India before, often disguising them as IS agents.

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On April 13, a special NIA court granted the national agency 10 days of custody for further investigation of two suspects in the Rameshwaram Cafe blast case. The accused, Mussavir Hussain Shazib and Abdul Matheen Ahmed Taahaa, were brought from Kolkata to the state capital on transit remand, for their alleged role in the March 1 blast at Cafe, which left 10 people injured. According to the NIA, Shazib placed the Improvised Explosive Device (IED) at the cafe, and Taahaa was the mastermind.

First published on: Apr 22, 2024 09:14 AM IST

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