On Sunday, Bengaluru police anti-terrorism cell and the state Internal Security Division carried out searches at multiple places in Karnataka as part of its investigation into the UAPA case. (Representational Image)
Following an investigation by the Tamil Nadu police into the activities of Khaja Moideen (52) — alleged to have links to the Islamic State — the Bengaluru crime branch lodged a terrorism case against Moideen and 16 others, including two youths accused of murdering a police officer in Tamil Nadu last week. Moideen was arrested by Delhi Police last week.
According to the FIR, south Bengaluru resident Mehaboob Pasha and his nephews allegedly facilitated meetings at his home for Moideen to radicalise youths from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and to attract them to Islamic State ideology. A group led by Moideen was being assisted by a group from Bengaluru, including nephews of Pasha, in procuring guns, finding training sites and men, a Bengaluru crime branch official has alleged in a complaint.
“A few accused in Bengaluru along with accused in Chennai were in direct contact with a foreign handler and were planning to create disturbance. They were also procuring weapons for this. The Chennai accused are already involved in such cases in Tamil Nadu. A few accused are in the custody of Chennai and Delhi police. Further investigations are on,’’ Joint Commissioner of Police (crime) Sandeep Patil said.
Among the youths named in the Bengaluru case under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) are Abdul Shameem and Toufiq, who have been named prime suspects in the shooting of a police officer in Kanyakumari on January 8. Police in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are investigating if the officer was shot with a gun that was part of a consignment of arms recovered from a suspect arrested in Bengaluru by Tamil Nadu police.
According to sources, days before they allegedly shot the officer, Shameem and Toufiq were in Bengaluru and they got a brother of one of the men arrested by Tamil Nadu police to withdraw Rs 15,000 from an ATM.
On Sunday, Bengaluru police anti-terrorism cell and the state Internal Security Division carried out searches at multiple places in Karnataka as part of its investigation into the UAPA case. Several youths named in the case are reported to be absconding. Six of the 17 named are from Tamil Nadu and the others are from Bengaluru and others parts of Karnataka.
The alleged IS-linked radicalisation plot emerged in December 2019 after Tamil Nadu police began a hunt for the Moideen who disappeared despite being an undertrial in two terrorism cases pertaining to the murder of a right-wing Hindu leader and recruitment of youths on behalf of Islamic State.
Moideen has also been accused by NIA in a 2017 terror recruitment case along with Haja Fakkurudeen, a Tamil Nadu man who allegedly travelled to Syria in 2014 to join the Islamic State. In a chargesheet filed in March 2018, the NIA said Moideen “wilfully assisted Haja Fakkurudeen in joining the ISIS/ISIL/Daish in Syria’’.