NIA conducts raids in Kerala over suspected links to ISIS terrorists involved in Sri Lanka bombings

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided houses of two person in Kasaragod on Sunday in connection with their suspected links with the Islamic State (IS) and jihadi terrorists involved in the Sri Lanka Easter Sunday bombings.

Police sources said that the residences of Ahamed Arafat at Kaliyangad and Aboobacker Siddique at Nayanmarmoola in Kasaragod were raided from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Kasaragod police officials said that the two middle-aged men were issued notices by NIA officers asking them to appear before the Central agency’s office in Kochi on April 29 for further interrogation. The two natives of the district were not taken into custody, the police sources said. They are suspected to be following IS operatives, including Zaharan Hashim — master mind of Sri Lanka blast, through social media.

“The two residents here are suspected to have social media contacts with those who were alleged to have contacts with jihadists behind the Sri Lanka terror attacks,” said a police officer.

Sources privy to the NIA investigation in Kasaragod said that the details about Mr. Ahmed Arafat and Mr. Aboobacker Siddique were collected after questioning Shaibu Nihar of Koduvally, an IS sympathiser intercepted with the help of Interpol from Qatar.

The NIA team seized their mobiles phones and also a few documents from their houses. They would be interrogated based on the information gathered from Shaibu, the sources said. The duo is suspected to have communicated with IS online operatives working abroad, they said, adding that it was not known whether they had any direct connection with Zaharan Hashim.

The police said that the videos of Zaharan Hashim’s preaching were widely circulated for radicalising youths in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.


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