International

NIA raids houses of IS suspects

The National Investigation Agency(NIA)  raided houses of five persons suspected to have links with the Islamic State in the city of Coimbatore yesterday, The Hindu reported.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has claimed that it has found more persons associated with the Islamic State-inspired module it had busted in Coimbatore in June.

The members were connected with each other largely through social media, which they also used as a tool to propagate IS/Daesh ideology, according to the agency, which raided the houses of five persons in Coimbatore on Thursday.

NIA sleuths from Kochi conducted simultaneous raids at the houses of the five men in GM Nagar, Vincent Road and Bilal Estate, based on warrants issued by the Special Court in Ernakulam. The raids started at 5 a.m. and lasted a few hours.

Devices seized

They questioned the five men and seized a laptop, five mobile phones, four SIM cards, one memory card, eight DVDs and a large number of incriminating documents.

The house of one among the five individuals was searched by the NIA in June. Sources in the NIA said no arrests were made. However, the agency is likely to summon the quintet to Kochi for questioning.

On May 30, the agency registered a case against the suspected head of the Coimbatore module, Muhammed Azharuddin, 32 — a Facebook friend of Zahran Hashim, who masterminded the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka — and his associates.

According to the NIA, they were propagating IS ideology and recruiting vulnerable youth to carry out terrorist attacks in south India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

On June 12, the NIA arrested Azharudheen, 32, and Y. Shiek Hidayathullah of the module and booked four others.

According to the NIA, some of the accused in the module were in touch with Hashim and his accomplices through social media with the intention of promoting the objectives of the Islamic State in India.

A press release issued by the NIA said the seized digital devices will be subjected to forensic examination. It added that the five suspects were being examined to ascertain their association with the arrested members of the module and their involvement in the conspiracy.