Sunday 28 April 2019 11:24 PM UTC
KOCHI April 29: NIA and the Central Intelligence Agency has intensified their probe to find the pawns of terrorism in the state as it has been found out that Shahran Hashim (40), NTJ leader and the key figure of the blasts in Sri Lanka, had stayed in Kerala. It has been reported that Shahran Hashim was killed in the blasts in Colombo.
Around sixty Malayalee suspects are under the close watch of NIA.
Residences of two Kasaragod natives, Aboobacker Siddique, and Ahammed Arafat, who are believed to be in contact with Shahran Hashim, who was a firebrand speaker, has been raided by the NIA.
Mobile phones and some other documents were seized. Both were issued a notice to be present for an interrogation at the NIA office in Kochi. Both were admirers of Shahran Hashim.
Riyas Aboobacker, who sells perfume and cap, was taken into custody at Palakkad Kollamcode. Shahran Hashim was a frequent visitor at Panayikulam, infamous for SIMI camp. National Taujid Jama-at has roots in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. They also maintain close ties with ISIS.
Shahran was present in the video where ISIS claims responsibility of the attack. As per information, he had recruited youth from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. NIA is looking into the details of this.
Security agencies had found out that 21 people from Kerala joined ISIS.
Meanwhile, three residents of Kasaragod and Palakkad districts are being questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as part of a probe into ISIS recruitments from Kerala. Incriminating evidence was said to have been recovered during raids at their homes yesterday.
The three are believed to have been in touch with some of the people who left the state to join the international terror group. Sources said the probe agency is also trying to establish if they have links with those involved in the April 21 suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka.
According to a press release, NIA officials recovered a number of devices such as mobile phones, phone SIM cards, memory chips, pen drives and handwritten notes in Arabic and Malayalam from their possession. DVDs of religious speeches and books authored by controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik were also found during the raids.
The houses raided in Kasaragod belonged to Aboobackar Siddique and Ahammad Arafath. The NIA has issued a notice asking them to appear at its Kochi office for further questioning on Monday. The identity of the third suspect is yet to be confirmed.
A number of people from Kerala left for Syria and Iraq to join the terror group over the last few years, becoming a cause of concern for intelligence agencies.
While 21 residents of the southern state — including six women and children — travelled to Syria from various districts of Kerala in May 2016, a group of Keralites went missing under suspicious circumstances from the Gulf between December 2016 and January 2017.
Many of them were reportedly killed when the caliphate fell in the following months.
A series of suicide bombings by terrorists at churches and high-end hotels in Sri Lanka killed over 250 people on Easter Sunday, sparking condemnation from countries across the globe.
After ISIS took responsibility for the attacks, the country’s security forces raided a “jihadi safe house” in the eastern town of Kalmunai that resulted in the death of 15 suspected terrorists. Among the casualties were three women and six children.
Two terror groups — the National Thawheedh Jamaath and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim — have also been banned on suspicion of their direct involvement in the Easter Sunday attacks.
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