A day after National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested Mohammed Azharrudin, the alleged mastermind of ISIS’s Tamil Nadu module, from Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu police on Wednesday (June 12) registered cases against three youths in Coimbatore and picked them up for questioning over their alleged plan to launch terror attacks in the city.
Police said the three are staunch supporters of ISIS and were propagating its ideology on social media. They are also suspected of having links with Maulvi Zahran Bin Hashim, the mastermind of the Sri Lanka Easter attacks.
On Thursday (June 13) morning, a team comprising officials of Special Intelligence Cell of Coimbatore and Special Intelligence Unit of the state police led by assistant commissioner of police Cedric Manuel launched a search operation at the residence of the booked trio.
Speaking to The Federal, a senior police officer with Coimbatore city police said they got information that the three youths were in regular touch with Hashim on social media. “NIA has also provided inputs about second rung of people who were about to be recruited to the ISIS module. We will also interrogate them,” the senior police officer said.
Sources also told The Federal that the trio are likely to be arrested after the inquiry is over.
The cases were registered against Mohammed Hussain, Shajahan and Shabiyullah under sections 18 (punishment for conspiracy), 38 (being member of a terrorist organisation) and 39 (supporting a terrorist organisation) of Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) by Coimbatore police after getting inputs from NIA, police said.
On Wednesday, NIA sleuths had conducted raids at the houses and offices of six suspects from the Tamil Nadu module of ISIS and had detained them for questioning for their links with Sri Lanka serial bomb blast mastermind and National Thowheed Jama’at leader Maulvi Zahran Bin Hashim over social media and plans to conduct similar terror strikes in south India. Officials arrested their mastermind Azharrudin later in the day. Cases were filed against the six by NIA Kochi on May 30.
Thursday’s search operation that started at around 4 am in the morning and went on late in the afternoon. So far, police have managed to recover the digital devices from all the three youths and are inquiring with them about their links with the ISIS module.