• Eyal Pinko

Al-Qaeda operatives arrested in India over attempt to attack Indian Navy vessels

The nine people arrested, all Indian citizens, are Muslim immigrants who lived in Pakistan in the past.

During the last few days, India's internal security service, the National Investigation Agency, arrested nine operatives from the Al-Qaeda terrorist organization who were preparing to carry out attacks on infrastructure and officers of the Indian Navy. The nine arrested at various locations within the framework of a large-scale intelligence operation were getting instructions from a Pakistan-based terror cell, according to the Indian security service.   

The operatives from the terror organization were apparently recruited via a recruitment campaign on social media though which they also received many donations. The money raised on social networks was transferred to the terror activists who were caught, and had been intended for the acquisition of weapons and explosives in the black market of New Delhi.   

The nine people arrested, all Indian citizens, are Muslim immigrants who lived in the past in Pakistan. They were living in very poor areas of India. When they were caught, they were found to be in possession of a large amount of materials for incitement (including literature calling for jihad), communication devices, body armor, sharp weapons, pistols, and instruction manuals for preparing roadside bombs using household items.   

The Indian security service said that at the top of the list of targets of the nine people arrested were bases of the southern fleet in Cochin (very far from Pakistan) and the Navy shipyards in Mumbai. The reason that naval bases were chosen as targets for attack by the terror cell of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan was not specified. However, it is reasonable to assume that it was due to a desire to strike the Indian Navy, considered one of the most significant symbols of power and authority in India, while concealing those behind the planning of the attack.      

Al-Qaeda is operating on a wide scale in India and is trying to establish terror cells inside the country by recruiting many volunteers, almost all of whom are Muslim, by means of radicalization processes including religious messages, incitement materials and instruction materials for training volunteers to carry out terrorist attacks. In addition, Al-Qaeda is operating in India by means of raising funds and transferring them to the needy. 

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