National Investigation Agency (NIA)
National Investigation Agency (NIA)twitter [Representational Image]

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Sunday (April 28) conducted raids at the houses of three suspects at Kasaragod and Palakkad district of Kerala, suspecting their links with the Islamic State terror organisations.

The raids were conducted in the wake of the Sri Lankan blasts, which was claimed by the ISIS. Three suspects in the district were part of an IS inspired module and had left the state in 2016 to join the outfit in Afghanistan.

According to the Kerala police, NIA inspected the houses of Aboobacker Siddique and Ahamed Arafat under the limits of Vidyanagar police station in Kasaragod and also the house of Riyaz Aboobacker at Kollankode in Palakkad. The three suspects are alleged to be in contact with the Kasaragod IS module leader Abdul Rashid Abdulla. 

A 28-year-old Riyaz has been detained by the NIA officials after the raids were conducted at his residence. He has been moved to Ernakulam for further questioning over the terror links. The NIA suspects that these people are in contact with some accused who are alleged to have left India in 2016 to join the IS terrorist organisation.

During the search operation at the residences of the suspects, NIA found several untitled CD's with Islamic preachings, pen drives, memory cards, SIM cards, books and speeches of Indian Islamic preacher Zakir Naik and several notes of Syed Qutb and various handwritten notes in Arabic and Malayalam.

"We are questioning the three suspects, whom we had been tracking for some time as they were in touch with Abdulla and other members of the Kasaragod module based in Afghanistan. We want to know if similar videos of Hashim were shared with them and if there is any direct link between IS modules from India and the Sri Lanka bombers," an NIA officer said, reports TOI.

The NIA charge sheet state that Abdul Rashid Abdulla and his wife Ayesha had travelled to Colombo in February 2016, to attend Islamic studies classes at an Arabic college there. But they were expelled from the college after the teacher found that they were sharing radical ideologies and Jihadist views with the students and returned back to India in April 2016.

The NIA raids are to establish any possible links with the IS modules in Kerala to the Easter Sunday attacks as the suspects had followed National Towheeth Jama'ath (NTJ) leader Zahran Hasim, the mastermind behind the Sri Lankan blasts on social media. The law enforcement agencies across the world have been picking crumbs of trails left by Hashim in digital media to find the real culprits behind the attacks as he used to recruit people to the terror outfits using social media.

According to the reports, Zahran Hashim's speeches were very popular with the extreme Salafi groups in Kerala and he used to advise his followers to not believe in ideas like democracy, nationalism and all as they had no place in Islam. His hate speech had triggered for the people in Kerala and neighbouring coastal states to join the radical Jihadist groups in the name of religion.