NIA arrests IS Tmail Nadu mastermind in Coimbatore

NIA arrests IS Tmail Nadu mastermind in Coimbatore

S Murari

The National Investigation Agency on Wednesday arrested Mohammed Azarudeen, an alleged mastermind of ISIS Tamil Nadu module and a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim.

The action followed a case registered by NIA on May 30 against 32-year Azarudeen and five others from Coimbatore. Prior to his arrest, the agency carried out searches at seven locations in Coimbatore.

In a statement in New Delhi, the agency said it had recovered 14 mobile phones, 29 SIM cards, 10 pen drives, three laptops, six memory cards, four hard disc drives, an internet dongle and 13 CDs/DVDs, besides one dagger, an electric baton, 300 air-gun pellets and a large number of incriminating documents.

A few pamphlets of Popular Front of India and Social Democratic Party of India, both under the scanner of security agencies, have also been seized from the houses and workplaces of the suspects, it said.

Though the IS has claimed responsibility for the Easter bombing in churches in Sri Lanka that killed over 250 people, the Sri Lankan Government has blamed it on Towheed Jamaat.

The Tamil Nadu Towheed Jamaat has denied links with the Sri Lankan branch or with ISIS. But NIA suspects Azarudeen and other members of the Towheed were actively propagating its policies on social media and recruiting youths for the jihad.