Chennai: Three members of the Al Qaeda terror group who were allegedly involved in a string of bomb attacks on courts spanning several states were nabbed by a joint team of NIA and Tamil Nadu Police on Monday.
All the accused were arrested from Tamil Nadu's Madurai city, and are now being shifted to Mysore in Karnataka for further investigation, ANI reported.
The arrested Al Qaeda men were allegedly involved in bombings at courts in Mysore, Chittoor, Kollam, Nellore and Malappuram, among other places.
Citing the police, PTI reported that they were allegedly planning to target several top leaders of the country, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Part of their plan was also to target foreign embassies in the country.
The accused were identified as M Khareem, Asif Sultan Mohammed and Abbas Ali.
Explosive materials were also seized from them.
According to the police, the trio was allegedly running the Al-Qaeda network in southern Tamil Nadu.
Meanwhile, the NIA were also searching for two other suspected Al Qaeda operatives, Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman.
The development comes days after NIA asked banks to freeze accounts of Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and his banned Islamic Research Foundation.
Naik is accused of radicalising Muslim youth through is sermons on television.
One of the terrorists in Dhaka cafe attack admitted to the interrogators that he had been highly inspired by the preachings of Zakir Naik.
On November 19, the NIA had registered a case under anti-terror laws against Naik and IRF for allegedly promoting enmity on the basis of religion and race.
The agency had also written to the Union home ministry for blocking websites and other online activities of Naik and IRF.