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Yahoo! engineer arrested in Indian terror swoop

Authorities arrest 15, including three 'terror techies'

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A group of 15 alleged Islamist terrorists arrested in India yesterday included a trio of techies - one a principal engineer at Yahoo!

Indian police alleged that the 15 were linked to recent bombing attacks in Ahmedabad and Surat, The Hindu reports.

The paper described most of the men as criminals linked to a Pakistan-based crime lord.

However, three were what the paper describes as “model citizens”, including 31-year-old Mohammed Mansoor Asghar Peerbhoy, who is reportedly a principal software engineer at Yahoo! India.

Peerbhoy, from Pune, acted as the terror cell’s in-house spin doctor, and emailed Indian Mujahideen manifestos before and after the recent blasts, the authorities claim, apparently by hacking into unsecured Wi-Fi connections.

His colleagues in the alleged terror cell included two other computer science grads, 24-year-old Mubin Kadar Shaikh (alias Salman) and 25-year-old Mohamed Atique Mohamed Iqbal (alias Musab), who was described by The Hindu as an “active member of an Indian Mujahideen module”.

The Hindu reported that Peerbhoy had become radicalised during a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2004 and before long was hanging out in radical Islamist internet chat rooms.

Peerbhoy’s family rejected the government’s charges, telling The Times of India that, "He was earning a handsome salary and we know that he will not do anything wrong … Mohammed is a highly qualified person and we are a very respectable family".

The arrests are being presented as a major coup in India, with The Times of India carrying plenty of detail of the interrogation of what it is already describing as “the techie terrorist”.

Yahoo! was not available for comment, though The Hindu quoted the company saying it would give every assistance to the authorities. ®

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