Arrested Rohingya trained militants in Myanmar

Saikat Datta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, November 23, 2014

Few people would have guessed that Khalid Mohammed, arrested by the NIA from Hyderabad last Tuesday in connection with the Burdwan blast, had links to an international coalition of terrorist groups.

Having been in India since November 2013, Khalid managed to get an Aadhaar card and was eligible to vote since he also managed to get an election identity card. A Rohingya Muslim from Myanmar, Khalid spent considerable time in Myanmar training batches of militants along with members of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), before slipping into India last year.

His primary interrogation report, accessed by Hindustan Times, reveals a plethora of details on the spread of the terrorist networks that spans over four countries. Interrogation reports are not admissible in court as evidence and only serve as an aid to the investigation.

Indian intelligence officials from the National Investigation Agency, the Intelligence Bureau and R&AW are poring through the 16 GB of data that was recovered from Khalid’s house.

The recovered thumb drive contains manuals in Urdu on manufacturing explosives, on using fire arms and also martial arts. This was part of an elaborate 15-day training programme for militants in camps on the Myanmar border.

“Khalid has told us that he helped train 40 militants in eight batches before moving to Bangladesh and subsequently India,” a senior central intelligence official told HT.

Khalid has also mentioned receiving large funds from Rohingyas based out of Karachi, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. “The money would be sent through hawala channels and would always be in Bangladeshi currency,” the intelligence official said. Khalid would stay in touch with his handlers using web-based communication tools like Viber, WeChat, Tango and Skype to avoid surveillance by Indian or Bangladeshi intelligence.

Khalid has told his interrogators that he was first recruited by a Bangladeshi national identified as Abdul Rehman. He introduced Khalid to two LeT operatives, Ali and Haider, who had travelled to Dhaka from Pakistan. The three of them travelled to Myanmar and set up the training camps.

After slipping into India in November last year Khalid travelled extensively to meet with other Rohingya refugees in Delhi, Lucknow and Jammu before setting up a base in Hyderabad.

NIA sleuths and West Bengal police escort Myanmar national Khalid Mohammed to Bankshall court in Kolkata on Thursday. (AFP Photo)

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