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2 held for terror plot
Published on 15 Mar. 2010 12:21 AM IST
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Two Mumbai residents were arrested Sunday as the Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) foiled a major plot to blow up state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) terminals, a mall and a market complex here, police said. The duo were trained in Pakistan, ATS officials said. ATS chief K.P. Raghuvanshi told reporters that the terror suspects were nabbed after a tip-off that they were allegedly planning to blow up oil tanks of ONGC in south Mumbai, Thakkar Mall in Borivali and Mangaldas market in south Mumbai. Mangaldas market is the city’s oldest cloth market. He said that preliminary investigations revealed that the arrested duo, identified as Abdul Latif Sheikh, 29, and Riyaz Ali, 23, were trained in Pakistan and were in touch with terror outfits in that country. However, he declined to identify the terror groups. The ATS chief added that the two were talking to somebody in Pakistan whom they referred to as “uncle”. Raghuvanshi said they had been tracking the duo for the past 10 days. The two men were produced before a court, which sent them to police custody till March 18. While Sheikh is a resident of Bandra, Ali lives in Dahisar, in the tip of northwest Mumbai. Raghuvanshi said the accused had conducted a reconnaissance of the sensitive Nhava-Sheva area of the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) and its surroundings. Police said they had recovered from the men several maps of Mumbai, suburban Navi Mumbai and the sites they were planning to strike. The JNPT is among the most sensitive installations in the city and barely a few kilometres away from downtown Colaba, which was the landing point of the 10 Pakistani terrorists who had attacked Mumbai Nov 26, 2008. Officials said Mumbai Police was in contact with central investigation agencies in New Delhi to know more about the “uncle” the terror suspects were referring to and their antecedents. The ATS, which is carrying out further investigations into the matter, would also probe the duo’s links to the 26/11 attacks and the Feb 13 Pune blast, their other associates in Mumbai and elsewhere in the country, Raghuvanshi added. The Mumbai attacks claimed 166 live including many foreigners while the pre-Valentine’s Day blast in the German Bakery, a popular cafe in Pune, killed 17 people.

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