While carrying out searches at multiple locations in Coimbatore, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) nabbed a man, who is allegedly the mastermind of ISIS module in Tamil Nadu, on Wednesday, June 12.
The accused, identified as Mohammed Azarudeen, was a Facebook friend of Sri Lanka's Easter Sunday suicide bomber Zahran Hashim. According to fresh reports, the 32-year-old have shared radical content related to Zahran Hashim on social media platforms. A page named 'KhilafahGFX' was maintained by Azarudeen on Facebook, in which he shared IS-related ideologies.
Who is Mohammed Azarudeen?
Mohammed Azarudeen, the prime accused and in-charge of the ISIS module in Coimbatore, owns a tour and travel company in the city. Post his arrest, Azarudeen revealed that he befriended Zahran Hashim who led the National Tawheed Jamaath (NTJ) and was also the suicide bomber involved in the worst jihadi attack which killed over 250 people and injured 500 in the island nation.
In a statement, the probe agency stated that it seized 14 cell phones, 29 SIM cards, 10 pen drives, three laptops, six memory cards, four hard disc drives, an internet dongle and 13 CDs/DVDs, besides one dagger, an electric baton, 300 air-gun pellets and a large number of incriminating documents. The NIA has also seized a few leaflets of Popular Front of India and Social Democratic Party of India from the houses and workplaces of the accused. The accused was being questioned by the probe agency based on the recoveries.
It has been reported that on May 30, 2019, a case was registered in Coimbatore against the module allegedly led by Azarudeen along with five others who were allegedly propagating ISIS ideology on social media platforms. After reports surfaced about the accused and their associates recruiting young people, the NIA started their search operations.
The dastardly Easter Sunday attacks
Earlier, the NIA went to Colombo to exchange information on suspects of the Easter Sunday bombings. Post this, a man, 29, was arrested by the probe agency from the southern state of Kerala for alleged involvement in a planned suicide attack.
The Islamic State group had claimed responsibility for the April 21 serial bombings in Sri Lankan which killed over 250 people and left another 500 injured. However, the Sri Lankan government claimed that NTJ carried out the attacks in the island nation with support from the Islamic State.