Coimbatore, Aug 29 (IANS) The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday searched five places allegedly linked to Islamic State (IS) sympathisers in Tamil Nadu and claims to have seized several electronic gadgets and incriminating documents.
“The agency conducted searches based on warrants issued by the NIA Special Court, Ernakulam, in the ISIS Kerala-Tamil Nadu Module Case registered earlier this year,” the NIA said in a statement.
During the searches, digital devices, like one laptop, five mobile phones, four SIM cards, one memory card and eight CDs/DVDs, and a large number of documents were seized. The seized devices will be sent for forensic examination.
The NIA was maintaining surveillance on suspects regarding their association with those arrested in the case and their involvement in the conspiracy to further the IS/Daish objectives.
The anti-terror probe agency has been working on the case for several months, which has resulted in raids and arrests of several IS/Daish sympathisers.
On June 12, the NIA had raided seven places in Coimbatore, including the house of Azarudeen, a social media friend of Zahran Hashim, the alleged Sri Lankan terror attack mastermind.
Azarudeen is the Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of the Easter bombings, which claimed over 250 lives in Sri Lanka. Azarudeen, the leader of the module, was maintaining the Facebook page named ‘KhilafahGFX’, through which he was propagating the ideology of IS/Daish.
The NIA had arrested Azarudeen and Sheikh Hidayatullah soon after the June raids. The Thursday’s searches was conducted on the basis of their statements.
The NIA had got leads on the Tamil Nadu IS module and the Kasargod module in Kerala from Abubacker, arrested on April 29.
Abubacker had informed the NIA that he had been following Zahran Hasim for more than a year and was also impressed by speeches of Zakir Naik, an Indian Islamic televangelist and preacher living in Malaysia. Abubacker also admitted that he wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala.
In May, the NIA had searched 10 places in Tamil Nadu in connection with the IS module probe. Some people had allegedly conspired to raise funds to wage war against the state.
The agency registered a case on May 30 against Azarudeen, Akram Sindhaa, Y. Sheikh Hidayathullah, Abubacker M, Sadham Hussain and Ibrahim alias Shahin Shah — all residents of Coimbatore.
The case was registered after the information that they were propagating the ideology of IS/Daish on the social media with the aim of recruiting youth and carrying out terrorist attacks in South India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.