In a major terror crackdown, NIA has reportedly raided five locations in Coimbatore on Thursday, as per sources. Sources have further reported that the raids started at 5:30 AM in the morning. While the reason for the raids is unknown, the raids are currently underway near the Ukkadam, Kuniamuthur area in Coimbatore, as per sources. Sources also report that like previous NIA raids, this raid too may be linked to ISIS terror funding and recruitment case. As per sources, Tamil Nadu state police is also present at the spot of the searches.
The NIA had previously arrested 32-year old Mohammed Azharuddin in connection with ISIS terror funding case in June. This raid is allegedly based on the inputs given by Azharuddin to the NIA in the investigation. This development comes merely days after Coimbatore was put on high terror terror alert. Information was received that six terrorists from Lashkar-e-Taiba had entered the Tamilnadu through Sri Lanka.
As per sources, a note recieved on August 23, from intelligence said that out of the six people, one is allegedly a Pakistani national named Illyas Anwar and others were Tamil Muslims from Sri Lanka who have reached Tamil Nadu illegally from Lankan waters. The note also stated that they had disguised as Hindus wearing tilak/ vibhuti smeared on the foreheads. Coimbatore has been a place of conflict between the extreme right and left wing elements. The city has also faced NIA raids recently after few men were suspected to have connections with the ISIS and to have radicalised and recruited youngsters to the group.
On June 19, the NIA had conducted raids in seven locations in Coimbatore in connection with the ISIS module case. Apart from the SDPI and PFI pamphlets, it seized four mobiles, 29 SIM cards, ten pen drives, three laptops, six memory cards, four hard disc drives and 13 CDs/ DVDs, 300 air-gun pellets, incriminating documents. The NIA officials carried out the raids after receiving a tip-off from other intelligence agencies which led to the arrest of Azharuddin. The probe had also uncovered the link between Zahran Hashim and Riyaz Aboobacker - who was arrested on April 30 by the NIA in Kerala in connection to the Sri Lanka Easter blasts.