NIA raids 21 locations in Tamil Nadu, arrests four in Coimbatore car blasttext_fields
Coimbatore: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) carried out a series of raids at 21 locations across Tamil Nadu in connection with the 2022 ISIS-inspired Coimbatore car bomb blast and an ISIS radicalisation and recruitment case.
The operation resulted in the arrest of four suspects, accompanied by the confiscation of various electronic devices and documents.
The searches targeted 11 locations associated with Madras Arabic College and Kovai Arabic College, focusing on individuals allegedly involved in clandestine radicalisation.
The NIA disclosed that these activities took place under the guise of Arabic language classes, both in-person and online, utilizing social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Telegram.
According to the NIA, ISIS operatives used these classes and social media channels to disseminate radical sermons, promoting ideologies contrary to India's constitutionally established principles of secularism and democracy.
The agency emphasised that susceptible youth were being recruited for potential terrorist acts, including the Coimbatore car bomb blast in October 2022.
In parallel raids, ten additional locations linked to the Coimbatore car bomb blast case were also targeted. The NIA stated that these locations were associated with suspects who were part of an encrypted mobile platform group, discussing ISIS activities and endeavors with the intention of establishing the outfit's foothold in India.
Investigations revealed that the suspects had eulogized Zahran Hashim, the deceased Sri Lankan terrorist responsible for orchestrating a PBIED attack in Colombo, Sri Lanka, in 2019. The discussions on the encrypted platform were centered around ISIS activities and the prospects of the organization in India.
Three of the arrested individuals were linked to the Madras Arabic College, including Jameel Basha Umari, who allegedly founded the college to promote fundamentalism, extremism, and radicalisation. Maulvi Hussain Faizy and Irshath, former students of Jameel, were responsible for rechristening Madras Arabic College as Kovai Arabic College.
The fourth arrested suspect, Syed Abdur Rahman Umari, possessed incriminating literature associated with ISIS. He was allegedly involved in propagating ISIS tenets to those connected with the Coimbatore car bomb blast case through secret 'bayans' and 'masooras.'
The NIA emphasized that investigations into both cases, TN ISIS Radicalisation and Recruitment Case and the Coimbatore car bomb blast case, are ongoing.