THE NATIONAL Investigation Agency on Friday arrested one more accused from among the six it raided on Wednesday in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu for alleged links with the Islamic State (IS). The agency arrested Sheikh Hidayathullah, 38, for being an alleged member of the terror outfit. It claimed he was earlier a member of the Students Islamic Movement of India.
The agency had on Wednesday conducted raids at multiple locations in Coimbatore, including the residences of six suspected IS operatives it suspects were in touch with the Easter Sunday Sri Lanka bombing mastermind Zahran Hashim. The agency had registered a case against the six on May 30. Later in the day, they put one of the operatives — Mohammed Azarudeen (32) — under arrest.
The suspects are all residents of Coimbatore. Apart from Azarudeen, who the agency claims is the mastermind of the group, the others have been identified as Akram Sindhaa (26), Hidayathullah, Abubacker M (29), Sadham Hussain A (26) and Ibrahim alias Shahin Shah (28).
“Accused persons were questioned regarding the incriminating materials recovered during searches and the content of their social media accounts. Based on the facts revealed hitherto regarding the pro-ISIS activities of accused Shiek Hidayathullah Y, aged 38 years, resident of Kulanthai Goundar Street, South Ukkadam, Coimbatore, he has been arrested today in this case. Scrutiny of the documents from his house has revealed that A-3 has remained associated with proscribed terrorist organization Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) as well, “ an NIA statement said.
According to NIA officials, Azaruddin had started a Facebook page called “KhilafahGFX” through which he propagated IS ideology.
“Accused Mohammed Azarudeen has been a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim and other members of the module have also been sharing radical content attributed to Zahran Hashim, over social media,” an NIA statement said. Hashim’s attack in the neighbouring country killed more than 250 people.