NIA arrests son of global terrorist and head of Hizbul Muhajideen Syed Salahuddin

In a major breakthrough, the National Investigation Agency has arrested Syed Shahid Yusuf, son of Hizbul Mujahideen head, Syed Salahuddin, who was questioned in 2011 terror funding.

Syed Shahid Yusuf is a J&K government employee and was found to be in touch with Saudi Arabia-based Hizbul Mujahideen operative Aijaz Ahmad Bhat, who is also an accused in the case, and had received money to allegedly fuel and fund secessionist and terrorist activities in the Valley.

Aijaz Maqbool, resident of Saudi Arabia played a key role in sending hawala money to the tune of about Rs. 4 crore 57 lakh.

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It is believed that Yusuf had accepted money transferred via Western Union by Aijaz, who is on the run, which was used to fund terror activities in J&K. As soon as he reached NIA office on Tuesday in response to the summons issued, he was arrested.

The NIA has so far filed two charge sheets against six people which included G M Bhat, a close aide of pro-Pakistan separatist Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mohammed Siddiq Ganai, Ghulam Jeelani Liloo and Farooq Ahmed Dagga. While the four accused are in judicial custody, Mohamed Maqbool Pandit and Aijaz Ahmed Bhat, who are also chargesheeted by the NIA, are absconding. An Interpol Red Corner notice has been issued against both.

In June this year, the US State Department had designated Syed Shahid Yusuf’s father Syed Salahuddin, a global terrorist. He is the key mastermind on the attack on Pathankot air base in Punjab in 2016. A prominent figure of Jihadi landscape, 71-year-old Salahuddin is also the head of United Jihad Council, an umbrella organisation of terror outfits – Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed. Salahuddin is considered be close to LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the mastermind of the 26/11 attacks.

Read the statement issued by the NIA on Yusuf’s arrest:

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