Chennai : In an operation that began early on Monday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sleuths searched the houses of 10 men arrested last year for suspected links with Islamic State (IS) and forming a group called ‘shahadat (martyrdom) is our goal’. Sources said the NIA team seized several “incriminating” materials.The accused were arrested from different parts of Tamil Nadu in April 2018 for raising funds to procure arms. The NIA teams searched the houses of the accused in Muthupet in Tiruvarur, Keelakkarai and Devipattinam in Ramanathapuram, Lalpet in Cuddalore and Salem.
An NIA release said the teams seized three laptops, three hard disks, 16 mobile phones, eight SIM cards, two pen drives, five memory cards, one card reader, two knives and several digital devices. The devices will be forensically examined for videos or content pointing to a link between IS modules based in India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and the attackers behind the Easter Day bombings in Sri Lanka.
NIA had conducted similar raids on three radicalised youngsters from Kasaragod and Palakkad in April. One of the three men, who were allegedly in touch with members of an IS module who had earlier migrated to an IS-controlled territory in Afghanistan, was later arrested. Investigators are also looking for the suspects’ links with Zahran Hashim, one of the bombers in Sri Lanka.
Late last year, NIA in searches carried out in connection with IS Coimbatore module had found speeches of Zahran Hashim’s videos on the devices seized.
Source : TOI