TN Islamic State module mastermind with links to Lanka suicide bomber arrested

TN Islamic State module mastermind with links to Lanka suicide bomber arrested
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New Delhi: The National Investigation Agency Wednesday arrested Mohammed Azarudeen, the alleged mastermind of Islamic State Tamil Nadu module who was a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim, after it carried out searches at seven locations in Coimbatore, officials said.

Zahran Hashim is suspected to be the mastermind of Sri Lankas Easter Sunday bombings in which over 250 people were killed.

During the searches, the agency seized 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, the NIA said in a statement.

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 work places of the accused, it said.

Based on the recoveries, the agency has started questioning the accused about the material, it added.

A case was registered on May 30 this year against the module allegedly led by the 32-year-old Azarudeen of Coimbatore and five other residents of the city.

The agency had received the information that the accused persons and their associates were allegedly propagating the ideology of proscribed terrorist organisation ISIS on social media with the intention of recruiting vulnerable youth into the group for carrying out terrorist attacks in south India, especially in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, the NIA said.

It alleged that Azarudeen was the leader of the module and maintained a Facebook page named "KhilafahGFX" through which he had been propagating the ideology of the banned West Asian terror group.

The NIA has alleged that Azarudeen has been a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim.

The IS had claimed responsibility for the serial bombings in Sri Lanka on April 21 in which around nine suicide bombers were involved. Total 258 people were killed and 500 others injured in the terror attacks in the island nation.

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