NIA conducts raids in 3 Kerala houses, questions 3 suspected to have links with ISIS

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In connection with the 2016 ISIS Kasaragod Module case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted raids on two houses in Kasaragod and one house in Palakkad on Sunday morning.

The raids were conducted by two NIA teams in the houses of two suspects in Vidyanagar town in Kasaragod. The officials seized the duo’s mobile phones and asked them to appear for a detailed enquiry. The NIA also conducted a raid and picked up a man from Palakkad district for questioning.

The three are suspected to have links with some of the accused persons in the 2016 case,  who had exited India to join the proscribed terrorist organisation ISIS/ Daesh.

The NIA said the case relates to the criminal conspiracy hatched by people from Kasaragod district and their associates to join the Islamic State. In 2016, NIA found that principal accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla had recruited the other accused persons in the case by conducting classes at Kasaragod and other places since Ramadan, 2015, in support of ISIS.

According to the NIA, as part of the conspiracy, 14 accused from Kasaragod left India or their workplaces in the Middle East between May and July 2016 before travelling to Afghanistan or Syria, where they joined the Islamic State.

This comes close on the heels of the police increasing surveillance in the state after the video in which ISIS claimed responsibility for the Sri Lanka terror attack surfaced. The video, which was in Arabic, also had translations in English, Tamil and Malayalam.

The senior NIA official told IANS that the raids on Sunday were carried out after the agency got a tip-off that the three persons are suspected to have links with some of the accused who had earlier left India to join the Islamic State.

A police official attached to the Kollengode police station in Palakkad said that the NIA approached them and sought security. "We accompanied them and they have taken one person into custody. After picking him up, they returned to Kochi," said the official.

NIA officials in Kasaragod also served notice to Abubacker and Ahamed to report on Monday at the Kochi NIA office.

In New Delhi, the NIA said it had seized a number of digital devices, including mobile phones, SIM cards, memory cards, pen drives, diaries with handwritten notes in Arabic and Malayalam, DVDs of Zakir Naik besides untitled DVDs, as well as compact discs of religious speeches. All digital devices will be forensically examined and analysed.

Read: The men and women recruited by Islamic State from Kerala: NIA releases pictures

(With inputs from IANS)