In a major breakthrough, Indian Mujahideen co-founder Yasin Bhatkal, key accused in Hyderabad and Mumbai blasts, was on Thursday arrested from the Indo-Nepal border after being on the run for over five years.
30-year-old Yasin, one of India's most wanted terrorists, was picked up by security agencies along with another IM leader Akhtar, official sources said. Yasin is being brought to Delhi.
Yasin, also known as Mohammed Ahmed Siddhibappa, along with three aides Tahaseen Akhtar Wasim Aktar Shaikh (23), Asadulla Akhtar Javed Akhtar (26) and Waqas alias Ahmed (26) were allegedly behind three coordinated bomb explosions at Opera House, Zaveri Zazaar and Dadar West in Mumbai on July 13, 2011, leaving 27 dead and 130 injured.
The IM leader is wanted in a string of terror attacks in Ahmedabad, Surat, Bangalore, Delhi and Hyderabad.
In February this year, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had announced a reward of Rs 10 lakh each to anyone giving information on Yasin and the three aides.
Except Tahaseen, who planted a bomb in the Dadar blast, the rest three were also involved in the four co-ordinated low-intensity explosions, which struck the busy arterial road in the heart of Pune city on August 1, 2012. Eight accused had been arrested in this connection.
In December 2011, Delhi police had also announced a reward of Rs 15 lakh for any information leading to the arrest of Yasin in several terror cases, including three in Delhi.
While Yasin hails from Bhatkal in Karnataka, Tahaseen is from Samastipur in Bihar while Asadullah is from Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh.
Yasin, who co-founded IM in 2008 along with brother Riaz Bhatkal, is also wanted in the German Bakery bomb blast in Pune on February 13, 2010, that left 17 dead.
The IM was designated a terrorist group by the Government under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in June, 2010.
The banned outfit was declared by the US as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation in 2011.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that Bhatkal was arrested from "Bihar-Nepal border" on Wednesday night and he is the custody of the Bihar Police.
He is being interrogated by the Bihar Police, the Minister said.
"Yasin has been traced and he is under the custody of the Bihar Police. The interrogation is going on. Till now, this is the only information," Shinde told reporters outside Parliament House.
Asked as to which agency picked him up, the Minister said, "intelligence agencies" but refused to disclose their names.