NIA raids in Tamil Nadu in crackdown on ISIS module
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is carrying out raids at multiple locations in Coimbatore in a crackdown on an Islamic State module in Tamil Nadu. Raids also took place in Nagapattinam, Sivaganga, Trichy and Thoothukkudi districts.
An official familiar with the raids said on condition of anonymity that the agency had found certain new clues in the ISIS Coimbatore case which are being verified.
News agency PTI reported that Thursday’s searches were on premises of two people associated with the Coimbatore ISIS module. A five-member team carried out searches in the house of a nab identified as Nissar in GM Nagar and Sauridin in Lorrypet in the city, the police said.
The NIA has been conducting raids in Coimbatore over the past few months. Last week too, the central probe agency said it had recovered incriminating documents during a raid.
The terror module planned to target leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in south India. Six IS members were arrested and they have been charged by NIA.
The Coimbatore module was busted in September 2018 and it was during interrogation of the terror suspects that intelligence agencies received clues that Maulvi Zahran bin Hashim, a Sri Lanka-based radical Islamic preacher, was preparing for major attacks. Indian agencies alerted Sri Lankan authorities several times.
On April 21, over 250 people were killed when suicide bombers, including Hashim, blew themselves up in several Sri Lankan cities on Easter Sunday.
In December last year, the NIA had found videos of National Thowheed Jama’at (NTJ) leader Hashim while probing the Islamic State Coimbatore module. Investigators had said that in the videos Hashim exhorted Muslim youth from Sri Lanka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala to establish Islamic rule in the region.