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Musa interrogation: CM Mamata Banerjee ‘livid’ at being left in dark about FBI visit

The FBI visited the city last week to question Musa about his alleged Syria-based handler Shafi Armar, alias Yosuf al Hindi, and his alleged plans to harm US interests, said a source.

Written by Aniruddha Ghosal | Kolkata |
December 17, 2016 12:16:50 am
BJP, Mamata Banerjee, latest news, India news, BJP and Mamata Banerjee, national news, west bengal news Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. (PTI File Photo )

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed unhappiness over the state government being kept out of the loop when an FBI team recently visited Kolkata to question alleged Islamic State (IS) operative Mohammad Masiuddin alias Musa.

Sources said that Director General of West Bengal Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha had called Sharad Kumar, DG (NIA), to convey the government’s displeasure at the FBI team’s “surprise” visit. “The state government has sought an explanation as to why it wasn’t kept in the loop when the FBI was hosted within the jurisdiction of the state,” said a source.

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In response, the NIA had said that as per the international agency-to-agency cooperation agreement, it wasn’t necessary to inform the state government prior to calling in an international agency. This, however, hasn’t gone down well with Mamata. A top official said, “The chief minister is livid. She is of the opinion that law and order is a state’s prerogative, and something that the Centre can’t interfere in.

However, at various points in the past, the Centre has attempted to weaken the state’s policies and the federal structure of India at large. This is a dangerous trend.”

The FBI visited the city last week to question Musa about his alleged Syria-based handler Shafi Armar, alias Yosuf al Hindi, and his alleged plans to harm US interests, said a source. US agencies have been tracking Armar, who they suspect is also in touch with American youths with an aim to get them to join IS, added the source.

A seven-member team of FBI investigators that grilled Musa had concluded that he was a “highly-motivated, potential suicide bomber”, said NIA sources.

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