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Indian link to deported Al-Qaeda man: Agencies to probe further

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New Delhi, May 22: An Al-Qaeda operative from Hyderabad, who was convicted in the United States has been deported to India. He was convicted for financing activities of slain Al-Qaeda preacher, Anwar al-Awlaki.

A resident of Toledo in Ohio, US, the 41-year-old Mohammad Ibrahim Zubair was deported to India on a special flight that landed in Amritsar on May 19. He was born in Sharjah, but is an Indian national. His parents originally hail from Hyderabad.

Indian link to deported Al-Qaeda man: Agencies to probe further

Sent to 14 days in quarantine, owing to the coronavirus situation, he was among the 167 deportees who landed in Amritsar.

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The Central Agencies in India have questioned about his links with the Al-Qaeda. However. the agencies have so far not found any link in India. We will question him further to find out if he is aware of the activities of the outfit in India. For now, no case has been booked, but we will decide on the future course, following more questioning, a senior official told OneIndia.

He has served his sentence in the United States. A decision on whether or not to let him go would only be taken after further investigation. We suspect that he may be aware of the networks of the outfit or the larger plans the Al-Qaeda has in India, the officer cited above said.

Zubair was arrested in 2011 on the charge that he was providing material support to the Al-Qaeda leader Awlaki. He had pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy. His brother Yahya Mohammad on the other hand was sentenced to 27 years in jail for hiring a hitman to kill the judge presiding over the case.

Zubair graduated from the Osmania University in 2001, following which he joined his brother for higher studies in the United States. He did his engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. He then moved to Toledo in Ohio in 2006.

During the questioning, the police found that Zubair was radicalised after watching the videos of Awlaki. While the Punjab police have no case on him, it is the Central Agencies which want to probe him further.

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    His brother had also tried to meet with Awlaki in Yemen, but had failed to do so. They were radicalised by the speeches of Awlaki, who had called for Jihad against the United States. Zubair was found guilty by a US court, which sentenced him to 60 months in jail.

    He, however, came out in 30 months as he had already served the remainder of the term during detention. Following the completion of his sentence, his deportation was ordered.

    The Central Agencies would also contact the Hyderabad police to find out if they would want to question. For now, there have been no links found in India and hence no case has been registered, officials say.

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