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Indian Police raid IS cell with links to Sri Lanka bombing mastermind

Indian Police raid IS cell with links to Sri Lanka bombing mastermind
June 13
11:43 2019

(UTV|COLOMBO) – Indian Police raided 7 locations in the Southern City of Coimbatore on Wednesday (12) in pursuit of a suspected Islamic State (IS) cell with links to the suicide bombers who killed over 250 people in Sri Lanka in April, the Reuters reported.

The National Investigation Agency (NIA) of India stated it was questioning 7 men from Coimbatore, aged between 26 and 38, on suspicion of propagating IS ideology to recruit people for carrying out attacks in Southern India.

The IS claimed responsibility for the bombings in neighbouring Sri Lanka and has been looking to bolster its presence in the sub-continent, the Indian media reported.

Last month IS claimed the establishment of a “Province” in India after a clash between jihadists and Security Forces in the contested, Northern Kashmir Region.

“We had recently registered a fresh case against a new ISIS module in Coimbatore,” an NIA Official told Reuters, using another name for IS, explaining Wednesday’s (12) raids during which a number of electronic devices were also seized.

The main accused in the case, Mohammed Azarudeen, had been Facebook friends with Zahran Hashim, the suspected mastermind of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings, the NIA said in a statement.

Hashim led the National Thowheeth Jama’ath (NTJ), one of the two local extremist groups that were involved in the synchronised blasts in Colombo, Sri Lanka’s Capital, and two other towns.

The NIA, India’s Federal Agency responsible for fighting militant groups, has conducted multiple searches in Southern India this year in connection with a case concerning 15 people who apparently left the country to join IS in 2016.

In late April, the NIA arrested a 29-year-old man from the Southern State of Kerala for suspected involvement in a planned suicide attack.

The Agency has also made more than a dozen arrests in a case involving an IS-inspired group that was conspiring to carry out attacks around New Delhi.

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