Ayman al-Zawahiri
al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-ZawahiriReuters file

The investigation into the Burdwan bomb blast in West Bengal on 2 October opened layers of terror modules spread across four more states in India, plausibly having links with Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and al-Qaeda.

After questioning Amina Bibi and Rajira Bibi, the two women arrested in connection with the Burdwan blast, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) found links to Bangladeshi terror outfit JMB and also to al-Qaeda, whose two bomb-makers died in the same accident, which injured a fifth member as well.

The connections and terror links seem to have spread not only across the state but also across India. The West Bengal police reportedly arrested six people from Barpeta district on Friday, for allegedly having links with al-Qaeda and JMB.

The police are of the view that they have been trained and given jihadi preaching in the same madarsa, where the two dead and three arrested suspects sought training. The terror wings have reportedly spread their members in different parts of India, including Assam, in wake of future plots.

"The terrorists we picked up were not given any task by their senior leaders in Bangladesh. They were asked to stay put in safe houses until their missions were assigned," The New Indian Express quoted Assam's Inspector General of Police SN Singh as saying.

Their arrest has induced the plausibility of "Ayman Al Zawahiri's recent announcement that al Qaida would spread its wings in Assam along with other parts of India", according to The Times of India.

NIA, which is now handling the Burdwan case, has been able to uncover suspected terror links spread across Jammu & Kashmir, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, TOI reported.

While two more suspects are being hunted, NIA is still on the lookout for one of the major suspects - Kausar - who is suspected to have escaped to Bangladesh. Kausar is understood to be the link between the militants and JMB. 

Meanwhile, the central intelligence agencies have been able to identify the mastermind behind it all. Abdul Qader Sultan Armar from Karnataka town Bhatkal, trained at the al-Qaeda camps, is said to be the one operating the suspected terror plots from its present base near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

The central intelligence agencies have also stated that the Islamic terror outfits of India-Bangladesh are running a "multi-nation terror module". The claim is based on the evidences procured from the blast site in Burdwan and the interrogation of the two arrested women.

On the day India celebrated Mahatma Gandhi's birthday, the West Bengal police arrested two women and also took an injured militant - Hasan Saheb - into custody, after a bomb blast in a house in Burdwan's Khagragarh area. Two men - Shakil Ahmed and Sovan Mandal - died in the blast that took place while making bombs in a rented house.

The investigation following the blast revealed the militants' plan of making bombs and blowing up 25 different places in WB, including the Kolkata airport.