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Sri Lanka blast accused Zahran Hashim’s Facebook friend among the arrested men in NIA’s Coimbatore ISIS module raid

Azaruddin allegedly had plans to carry out attacks in Kerala and Tamil Nadu for which he was trying to recruit men who would take up 'Jihad'.

Yesterday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raided several locations in Coimbatore over suspected links between an Islamic State (IS) module in Coimbatore and serial blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter eve.

Six men who were led by a man named Mohammed Azarudeen has been arrested in yesterdays raids. Azarudeen is known to have been in touch with Zahran Hashim, the main accused in the Sri Lanka bombings, over Facebook.

The NIA has said that the two were Facebook friends, first came in contact in October 2018 and have been spreading the ISIS ideology over social media. Azarudeen handled the Facebook page “KhilafahGFX” through which he spread the Daish/ISIS ideology and radical contents attributed to Hashim.

An official has said, “during initial questioning, Azarudeen told us that he had plans to carry out a big attack in Tamil Nadu and Kerala but first wanted to hire more men who will be ready to take up jihad”.

32-year-old Mohammed Azarudeen is a resident of Ukkadam in Coimbatore. He also ran a tour and travel agency company known as KhilafahGFX. Azarudeen was questioned for 14 hours after which he was arrested by NIA, he would be produced to a special NIA court today.

The NIA has also seized several electronic devices from the raids conducted in seven locations across Coimbatore.

Last year in September, the NIA had busted an ISIS module in Coimbatore arresting seven men for planning to accomplish ISIS objectives by targeting Hindu leaders and activists. From the gathered evidence, including videos of Zahran Hashim, a possible terror attack was suspected in Colombo following which India had warned relevant authorities in Sri Lanka well in advance of the Easter Sunday bombings.

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Staff reporter at OpIndia

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