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Terror suspect with links to IS sent to judicial custody in Kochi

The NIA said he was the leader of the module and maintained a Facebook page “KhilafaGFX” to attract youngsters to the Islamic State ideology. The NIA is also questioning five of his associates.

india Updated: Jun 13, 2019 20:37 IST
HT Correspondents
HT Correspondents
Hindustan Times, Thiruvananthapuram/Chennai
Zahran Hashim,National Investigation Agency,NIA
Azarudeen, a resident of Ukkadam in Coimbatore, owns a travel agency and was arrested on Wednesday.(FILE PHOTO)

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Kochi on Thursday remanded Mohamed Azarudeen (32), to two weeks judicial custody. Azarudeen was arrested from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday for alleged links with terror outfit Islamic State.

The NIA said he was the leader of the module and maintained a Facebook page “KhilafaGFX” to attract youngsters to the Islamic State ideology. The NIA is also questioning five of his associates and raids continued for the second day today in various parts of Tamil Nadu.

In the remand report, NIA said Azarudeen was a key operative of the terror outfit and had planned attacks in Tamil Nadu and Kerala. “He has been a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim and other members of the module have also been sharing radical content attributed to Hashim over social media,” the NIA said. They were also in touch with Riyas Abubacker, an alleged suicide bomber, who was arrested from Palakkad (Kerala), a week after the Easter bombings in Lanka, it said.

According to the police, all six including Azarudeen were into various trades ranging from jewellery to running a travel agency to selling honey but they were held together by their radical ideology. Following NIA raids, the Tamil Nadu police also searched some of their premises.

While Azarudeen, a resident of Ukkadam in Coimbatore, owns a travel agency, Y Sheikh Hidayathulla (38), also of the locality, is into the sale and marketing of honey. A Saddam Hussain (26), of Podannur, is a partner in a jewellery shop and so is Akram Jindha (26) of the same area. Ibrahim Shahin Shah (28) is into the perfume business and M Abubacker (29) of Kuniyamuthur works at a marriage hall.

One of the suspects, Akram Jindha, is the prime accused in the murder of rationalist Umar Farooq in Coimbatore. Farooq, who was critical of Islam and other religions, was hacked to death two years ago. Another suspect, Ibrahim Shaheen Shah, was a close associate of Riyas Abubacker, another suspected IS man arrested by the NIA.

First Published: Jun 13, 2019 20:37 IST