The National Investigative Agency (NIA) on Wednesday conducted raids across seven locations in Coimbatore and registered cases against six men allegedly plotting a terror attack in south India. The accused aged between 26 and 32 were allegedly involved in propagating the ideology of banned terror group ISIS with the intention of recruiting vulnerable youth for terrorist activities.
The main accused in the case, 32-year-old Mohammed Azarudeen is a Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, a suicide bomber and alleged mastermind of the Sri Lanka Easter terror attack. He has been detained by the NIA, taken to Kochi and will be arrested and remanded to judicial custody, an NIA source told TNM.
According to the NIA press release, “The accused persons and their associates were propagating the ideology of proscribed terrorist organization ISIS/ Daish on social media with the intention of recruiting vulnerable youth into the ISIS/ Daish for carrying out terrorist attacks in south India especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. “
Prime accused Mohammed Azarudeen was allegedly the leader of the module and has been maintaining the Facebook page named “KhilafahGFX”, through which ‘he had been propagating the ideology of ISIS/ Daish’. He also shared radical content attributed to Hashim on social media.
Another accused named Ibrahim meanwhile has allegedly been a close associate of Riyas Abubacker, who was arrested by the NIA in Kochi, two months ago. Inspired by the Sri Lankan terror attack, Riyas allegedly wanted to carry out a suicide bombing attack in Kerala. He also allegedly attempted to recruit more people to join his plan to carry out similar coordinated blasts.
During the searches conducted on the residences of the accused, the NIA found -14 mobile phones, 29 SIM cards, 10 pen drives, 3 laptops, 6 memory cards, 4 hard disc drives, 1 internet dongle and 13 CDs/ DVDs. In addition to this they recovered a dagger, an electric baton, 300 air-gun pellets and a large no. of incriminating documents. A few PFI/ SDMI pamphlets were seized from the houses and work places of accused persons, according to the press release.
The other accused named in the case are Akram Sindhaa (26), Y. Shiek Hidayathullah (38), Abubacker M (29) and Sadham Hussain (26) and Ibrahim alias Shahin Shah (28). These five men have been served summons and have been asked to appear before the NIA Camp office in Coimbatore on Thursday.
The searches began at 5.30 am on Wednesday and continued till the afternoon. All the accused have been detained for questioning by the NIA.