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Two modules, one modus operandi: NIA on ISIS modules in TN, Kerala

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New Delhi, June 14: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) says that the mastermind of the Sri Lanka bombings could be linked to at least 3 cases that are being probed in India.

The revelation came in the wake of the NIA conducting raids at several locations in Tamil Nadu on Wednesday. The NIA also went on to add that the Coimbatore module has more members and is found to be very similar to the ISIS operations in Kerala. Both modules had planned on carrying out attacks in South India similar to the Easter bombings, the NIA also said.

Mohammed Azarudeen,who was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with the ISIS Kerala-Tamil Nadu module case in Sri Lankan Easter Day blasts, being produced before NIA special court in Kochi

During the raids, the NIA found material that belonged to the Popular Front of India and Social Democratic Party of India.

The PFI has cropped up in several such investigations relating to terrorism cases. The name of the outfit cropped up for the first time in 2013 in the Narath Arms Case of Kannur. This case related to a training camp and the NIA said that it was also linked to the Indian Mujahideen.

In ISIS raids at Tamil Nadu, usual suspects PFI, SDPI crop up

Further the NIA also found that KhilafahGFX was a Facebook page through which the ideology of the Islamic State was being propagated in South India.

On Wednesday the National Investigation Agency which conducted raids at Tamil Nadu has registered a case against one person, suspected to be part of the Islamic State.

The person has been identified as Mohammad Azharuddin. The NIA said that he is suspected to have recruited persons from Kerala and Tamil Nadu, with an intention of carrying out attacks in South India.

The prime accused Mohammed was the leader of the module and had been maintaining the Facebook page named "KhilafahGFX", through which he had been propagating the ideology of ISIS/ Daish. The accused was a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim and other members of the module have also been sharing radical contents attributed to Zahran Hashim, over the social media.

During the searches digital devices including 14 mobile phones, 29 SIM cards, 10 pen drives, 3 laptops, 6 memory cards, 4 hard disc drives, 1 internet dongle and 13 CDs/ DVDs besides one dagger, one electric baton, 300 air-gun pellets and a large no. of incriminating documents and few PFI/ SDPI pamphlets have been seized from the houses and work places of accused persons.

The raids come in the wake of a two member NIA team visiting Sri Lanka last month to find out if there was any Indian link to the attacks. The NIA had said that the visit to Colombo was to exchange information and evidence gathered. This would be mutually beneficial the NIA had also said.

KhilafahGFX, the Facebook page that propagated ISIS ideology in South India

In the Coimbatore case, the NIA had found evidence too show that the Zahran Hashmi, the mastermind of the Easter Bombings had intended to target Churches. Further in 2018 the NIA had charged five persons from Coimbatore. It was on the basis of these interrogations that India had shared information with Sri Lanka about a possible attack.

Further the NIA had also arrested one Riyaz Aboobacker, a resident of Kerala. During the probe, he had said that he too had intended on replicating the Sri Lankan bombings in India. However the NIA did not find anything to link directly to the Sri Lanka attacks and said that he was acting independently along with his accomplices in India.

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