Most wanted IM-SIMI terrorist, involved in multiple blasts, arrested

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He joined SIMI in 1996, got married in February 1999 and had become fully-radicalised by 2000.

The dreaded bomb-maker - who is closely associated with the banned Students' Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) - is reportedly an expert in the art of changing appearances, which helped him give the slip to the police in several occasions.

Qureshi first came on the police's radar in 2001, when he and the Bhatkal brothers were booked for protesting in Kurla against the government ban on SIMI.

He efficiently worked as the main bridge between the old cadre of SIMI and the newly-founded IM.

Qureshi's name had cropped up in investigations into the serial blasts in Mumbai and Bangalore. He also came in with Iqbal Bhatkal, another IM operative, Kushwah said.

According to reports, one case against him includes his alleged participation in a secret training camp in 2007 that was organised by SIMI activists in Thangalpara, Kerala.

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"More than 50 different charitable organisations that are set up in various parts of the country, whose primary job is to raise money for funding terror in India, are the major sponsors", the sources added.

"During these camps, he gave lectures by way of audio-visual presentations, explaining the need for jihad", an investigator said. He is also believed to be the "al-Arbi" who signed the emails issued by the IM after the terror strikes.

"He took the initiative to mastermind the 2008 Ahmedabad blasts and provided all the logistics. The custody of the accused can be sought only after 14 days", the officer said.

Qureshi shot to the limelight after a series of bomb blasts in Ahmedabad and Surat in 2008 when 26 bombs planted in tiffin boxes wreaked havoc in the Gujarat cities.

Qureshi, 46, was underground for over a decade and was suspected to be living in Nepal and working as an English teacher. It is suspected that he also had links with ISIS since many of his associates also had foreign linkages.

Till date, the group has claimed responsibility for several terror attacks, including bombings in Jaipur, Delhi and Pune, and serial blasts in Bengaluru, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

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