Indian police arrest 2 for 2011 Mumbai bombings

Images of Yasin Bhaktal, who is still being hunted by police in connection with the 2011 Mumbai bombings.

Story highlights

  • The two suspects are both in their early 20s
  • Three more people are being sought
  • The 2011 triple blasts left 27 people dead
Indian anti-terrorism police Monday announced the arrest of two men for their role in last year's triple bombings in Mumbai that left 27 people dead.
Officer Rakesh Maria told a news conference that the arrested suspects, both in their early 20s, had been "indoctrinated" into the terrorist plan to strike commercial hubs of the city.
Maria, who heads Mumbai's anti-terrorism squad, identified the men as Naqi Ahmed Wasi Ahmed Sheikh and Nadeem Akhtar Ashfaq Sheikh, both originally from the eastern state of Bihar, one of India's impoverished regions.
The hunt is still on for three more people, including planner Yasin Bhatkal, he said. Maria released a photo of Bhatkal, who is believed to be a key operative of the Indian Mujahideen militant group.
The United States last year designated the group a foreign terrorist organization.
In a statement in September, the State Department noted the group's goal was "to carry out terrorist actions against non-Muslims in furtherance of its ultimate objective -- an Islamic Caliphate across South Asia."
The State Department said the Indian Mujahideen played a "facilitative role" in the November 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, when coordinated attacks on hotels, hospitals, and railway stations left more than 160 people dead.
The group is also responsible for 16 synchronized bombings in Ahmedabad in 2008, the State Department said, which left 38 dead and more than 100 wounded. The group also carried out the 2010 bombing of a bakery in Pune, India, killing 17 people, the State Department said.
Monday, Maria said investigators also uncovered the money trail in the 2011 Mumbai terrorist plot.
Anti-terrorist police, he said, are now seeking custody of a man already under arrest in a case involving forged currency.
On July 13 last year, three blasts occurred within minutes of each other in three busy Mumbai marketplaces. Forensic evidence collected from the scenes suggested the attackers used ammonium nitrate with a timing device for the detonations, authorities said.