The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Thursday conducted raids at five locations in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore district as part of its ongoing investigation into the alleged Islamic State (IS) module in the state. The searches came days after the government had sounded a high alert following inputs that a Lashkar-e-Taiba group had entered the state.
The searches on Thursday were held based on warrants issued by a special NIA court, Ernakulam, the agency said later in a release. Several digital devices were seized from the houses.
“During searches today (Thursday) at the houses of five associates of the accused persons, digital devices, including one laptop, five mobile phones, four SIM cards, one memory card and eight CDs/DVDs and a large number of incriminating documents have been seized,” the agency said.
The seized digital devices will be subjected to forensic examination, it added.
The suspects were being questioned about their association with the arrested persons and their involvement in the conspiracy aimed at furthering the objectives of the IS, the NIA said.
After registering the case in May this year, the NIA had arrested Mohammed Azarudeen, the alleged mastermind of the ISIS Tamil Nadu module. A statement by the agency had alleged that Azarudeen was the Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim and other members of the module behind the deadly Easter Sunday bombings.
According to NIA officials, Azaruddin had started a Facebook page called “KhilafahGFX” through which he propagated IS ideology. The agency had registered a case against the six on May 30.
Besides Tamil Nadu, an alert was also sounded in Kerala last week. The alert, sent to all city police commissioners and SPs last week, was that a group, including one Pakistani and five Sri Lankan Tamil Muslims, said to be disguised as Hindus, may carry out attacks.
Vital security installations and worship centres, tourist locations and foreign embassies were among the targets of the terrorist group, according to the intelligence input.