In raids in several places in the city, three suspected al-Qaeda operatives were on Monday arrested by the National Investigation Agency, police said.
Police said the three allegedly planned to attack 22 top leaders of the country including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
They were allegedly involved in threatening embassies of various countries in India, police said.
All the accused were arrested from Tamil Nadu’s Madurai city, and are now being shifted to Mysore in Karnataka for further investigation.
Those arrested were identified as M Khareem, Asif Sultan Mohammed and Abbas Ali. While Khareem was arrested from Usmannagar, Asif Sultan Mohammed was picked up from G R Nagar and Abbas Ali from Ismailpuram, police said.
The arrested Al Qaeda men were allegedly involved in bombings at courts in Mysore, Chittoor, Kollam, Nellore and Malappuram, among other places.
Explosive materials were also seized from them.
Police said NIA raided several places on specific information that suspected Al-Qaeda activists were operating from South Tamil Nadu in and around Madurai.
“Explosive materials and arms have been seized from them,” police said, declining to elaborate.
The trio was allegedly running the al-Qaeda unit in South Tamil Nadu. They were also allegedly involved in the explosions that took place in various courts in the country over a period of time, police added.
NIA were also searching for two other suspected al-Qaeda operatives, Hakeem and Dawood Sulaiman, they said.