Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal arrested

Yasin Bhatkal is alleged to be the mastermind behind of several bomb blasts in the country in the past few years.

NEW DELHI: The founder of Indian Mujahideen founder Yasin Bhatkal has been arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) from the India-Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh.

Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said, "Yasin Bhatkal is with the Bihar Police and is being interrogated. I cannot disclose which intelligence agencies were behind the arrest. Bhatkal was held in Nepal. He'll be brought to Delhi after initial interrogation."

Syed Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa alias Yasin Bhatkal is alleged to be the mastermind behind of several bomb blasts in the country in the past few years.

Bhatkal hails from Uttara Kannada district in Karnataka and founded the Indian Mujahideen in 2008 with his brothers.

Yasin Bhatkal is allegedly involved in blasts across the country including Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Pune and Surat.

Bhatkal had gained cult status in the terror network largely because of the failure of India's security establishment to work collectively to nab him.

With so few leads to pursue, it is hardly surprising that, for five long years now, counter-terrorism units across the country have drawn a blank in their hunt for Syed Ahmed Zarar Siddibappa, the 30-year-old engineering graduate from Bhatkal in Karnataka, more notorious as Yasin Bhatkal, the man behind the Indian Mujahideen.

Bhatkal was arrested once but jumped bail. He came close to being nabbed on a couple of occasions, most recently in November 2011 when a team of officers from the Intelligence Bureau, the Delhi police and the Chennai police raided the house of 19-year-old Abdul Rehman at Selaiyur in Chennai.

Bhatkal had switched his cell phone off and disappeared from the house just hours earlier. Had he been warned of the impending raid or did he just get lucky? No one is saying. He was last seen at a bus stop not far from there.