March 16, 2021 2:57:03 am
The National Investigation Agency Monday arrested a Bengaluru-based dental surgeon and two others in connection with an alleged Islamic State conspiracy to target individuals in Kerala and Karnataka. It also conducted searches at 11 locations across three states.
The agency has registered a case against seven people under sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for “running various ISIS propaganda channels on different social media platforms … and radicalizing and recruiting new members to this ISIS module”.
The arrested persons are Bengaluru-based Rahees Rashid, Kerala resident Mohammed Ameen, the alleged leader of the IS module, and Mushab Anuvar, from Karnataka.
The searches were conducted at eight places in Kannur, Malappuram, Kollam and Kasaragod in Kerala, two places in Bengaluru and one location in Delhi’s Jaffarabad.
“During the searches, several digital devices including Laptops, Mobiles, Hard Disk Drives, Pen Drives, multiple SIM cards of different service providers and incriminating documents have been seized. Seized exhibits are being scrutinized and will be sent for forensic examination,” NIA said.
According to the agency, the Kerala-run module was led by Ameen alias Abu Yahya who returned to India from Bahrain in March last year. Besides owing allegiance to IS, the group also planned to associate with militant groups in Jammu and Kashmir, the NIA claimed. The outfit had been using apps such as Telegram and Instagram to propagate Islamic ideology and recruit individuals, the NIA probe says.
“The group …had identified certain individuals in Kerala and Karnataka for targeted killing. They had also planned to undertake Hijrat (religious migration) to J&K for engaging in terrorist acts. Further, Mohammed Ameen had travelled to J&K immediately after his return to India from Bahrain in March, 2020 and had been camping in Delhi for last two months for establishing connection with J&K based operatives having allegiance to ISIS,” an NIA statement said.
The searches were conducted at the premises of Ameen and his associates who were members of the various groups/channels on encrypted chat platforms. Items seized during the searches are being scrutinized and will be sent for forensic examination, NIA officials said.
Before the raids, NIA claimed to have engaged in extensive verification of the information provided by intelligence agencies on the group along with Special Cell of Delhi Police and Anti-Terrorism Squad of Kerala Police.
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