India nabs terror suspect after 5-year manhunt

India nabs terror suspect after 5-year manhunt
Yasin Bhatkal is the co-founder of the home-grown Indian Mujahideen, which is a designated terrorist organisation.

INDIA - In a major counter-terrorism success, India's intelligence agencies have arrested one of the country's most wanted terror suspects.

The agencies, in a joint operation with Bihar police, nabbed Yasin Bhatkal, co-founder of the home-grown Indian Mujahideen, in that state along the India-Nepal border on Wednesday night.

It was the second such arrest in a fortnight. "Yasin Bhatkal was traced along Bihar- Nepal border by our intelligence agencies... interrogation has been going on," Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde told reporters.

Bhatkal, 30, also known as Mohammed Ahmed Siddibappa, is wanted for a string of bomb blasts that killed hundreds of people over the last five years in Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

The attacks he allegedly planned and executed included a blast in which he was caught on a security camera placing bombs at a German bakery in Pune. The resulting blasts killed 17 people, including five foreigners.

India designated the Indian Mujahideen as a terrorist group in 2010. The following year, the United States said it had links to Pakistan-based terror outfits.

"There is still a long list of people that India wants... this (Bhatkal's arrest) will give India satisfaction," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters.

Between 2005 and 2008, there were 29 major terror attacks in India. In 2008, terrorists laid siege to Mumbai for 60 hours, killing 166 people and laying bare intelligence lapses and lack of coordination among security agencies and police.

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