Kerala-TN IS module case: NIA arrests another sympathizer

Chennai: The NIA on Friday arrested an Islamic State sympathizer from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu in its ongoing probe against Kerala-Tamil Nadu module, the agency said.

Shiek Hidayathullah, 38, a resident of Kulanthai Goundar Street of South Ukkadam area in Coimbatore, was arrested by sleuths of National Investigation Agency which has been probing the case since May.

Hidayathullah was arrested because of his pro-Islamic State activities, an NIA statement said.

"Scrutiny of documents from Hidayathullah's house has revealed that he has remained associated with the proscribed terrorist organization, Student Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), as well," said the agency.

The NIA will produce him before a special court in Ernakulam seeking his custody.

The agency on May 30 registered a case against six persons on charges of propagating the ideology of Islamic State on social media with the intention of recruiting vulnerable youths into the outlawed group for carrying out terrorist attacks in south India, especially Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

It was also learnt that some of the accused and their associates were in touch with Zahran Hashim, the Sri Lanka's Easter attack mastermind, and his associates over social media.

The arrest followed a search operation conducted by the NIA on Thursday at seven locations in Coimbatore. The agency has also claimed to have recovered incriminating material, including books and documents, from the houses and work places of other accused persons arrested in the case.

On Wednesday, the NIA arrested Mohammed Azarudeen, a social media friend of the Sri Lankan terrorist who masterminded the April suicide bombings in the island nation that killed around 250 people.

The agency has named Azarudeen, 32, Akram Sindhaa, 26, Y. Shiek Hidayathullah, 38, Abubacker M. (29), Sadham Hussain, 26, and Ibrahim alias Shahin Shah, 28 -- all residents of Coimbatore -- in the case.