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Tamil Nadu Islamic State module ‘mastermind’ held by NIA

NIA investigations have found that as many 14 people from Kasaragod had left India or their workplaces in the Middle East between May and July 2016 and travelled to Afghanistan or Syria, where they had come in contact with the IS.

india Updated: Jun 12, 2019 23:49 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
ISIS,ISIS Tamil Nadu,NIA raids
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday arrested the alleged mastermind of so-called Islamic State (IS)’s Tamil Nadu module, news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.(Vipin Kumar/HT File PHOTO)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Wednesday arrested the alleged mastermind of so-called Islamic State (IS)’s Tamil Nadu module, news agency Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.

Mohammed Azarudeen, the alleged mastermind, was arrested after the NIA carried out searches at seven locations in Coimbatore.

He was a Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, the suspected ringleader of the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka that killed over 250 people in churches and luxury hotels on April 21.

PTI cited an NIA statement and said the agency seized 14 mobile phones, 29 SIM cards, 10 pen drives, three laptops, six memory cards, four hard disc drives, an internet dongle and 13 CDs/DVDs, besides one dagger, an electric baton, 300 air-gun pellets and a large number of incriminating documents during the searches.

It reported a few pamphlets of Popular Front of India and Social Democratic Party of India, which are under the scanner of security agencies, were also seized.

Based on the recoveries, the agency has started questioning the accused about the material, it added.

A case was registered on May 30 against the module, which included 32-year-old Azarudeen of Coimbatore and five other residents of the city.

The agency had received information that the accused and their associates were allegedly propagating the IS’s ideology on social media with the intention of recruiting youths into the group for carrying out terrorist attacks in south India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the NIA said.

It said that Azarudeen maintained a Facebook page named “KhilafahGFX” through which he had been propagating the IS’s ideology.

The other suspects in the case include Akram Sindhaa, 26, Y Shiek Hidayathullah, 38, Abubacker M, 29, Sadham Hussain, 26, and Ibrahim alias Shahin Shah, 28.

NIA said Ibrahim has been a close associate of arrested accused Riyas Abubacker in the IS’s Kasaragod module case.

The NIA arrested Abubacker on April 29. He is believed to have told his interrogators that he has been following Hasim for over a year and wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala.

NIA investigations have found that as many 14 people from Kasaragod had left India or their workplaces in the Middle East between May and July 2016 and travelled to Afghanistan or Syria, where they had come in contact with the IS.

First Published: Jun 12, 2019 23:49 IST