Indian newspaper The Hindu, quoting the National Investigation Agency (NIA), reports that Sri Lanka’s Easter attack mastermind Zahran Hashim was linked to three Islamic State (IS) cases in India.
The latest of these was the IS module discovered in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, where a Facebook friend of Zahran’s named Muhammed Azharudheen was arrested on 12 June.
According to The Hindu, no explosives were found in either the residence or the office of Azharudheen; but five other suspects from the area are still being questioned in Kochi.
The Chennai-based newspaper quoting an unnamed NIA official said there could be “more members” associated with the Coimbatore module, which had links with a similar module in Kerala.
The agency had found that Ibrahim Shah, one of the five suspects detained on 12 June, was close to Riyas Abubacker of the Kerala module, which had planned to conduct terror attacks there, reported The Hindu.
“Examinations and searches will continue till the agency identifies all members of the module,” the newspaper quoted the official as saying.
The NIA, according to the news report, said the five arrested so far had been propagating IS ideology and were “recruiting vulnerable youth to carry out terrorist attacks in South India, particularly in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.”