Five areas of the city are being searched in relation to a case filed last month
Coimbatore’s Ukkadam, Karumbukkadai, Bilal Nagar and two other areas are being searched by the National Investigation Authority since 5 am this morning.
The homes of Umar Farooq and Saddam Hussain in GM Nagar, Shanofar Ali and Shamesa Mubin on Vincent Road, Mohammed Yasir in Bilal Estate are under the NIA’s radar.
These searches are connected with a case filed by the NIA on 20 July against 16 persons on suspicion to having links with the ISIS, Al Qaida and the banned local terror outfit SIMI (Students Islamic Movement of India).
Last month the NIA had conducted searches in five different locations in Ramanathapuram district, two locations in Theni district and one location each in Chennai, Madurai, Tirunelveli, Thanjavur, Perambalur, Nagapattinam and Tiruvarur districts.
During the searches in July, the NIA claimed to have recovered one laptop, seven mobile phones, three memory cards, one hard disk, two pen drives, one internet dongle, nine CDs/DVDs and 50 documents.
The case, which is being called the Tamil Nadu Ansarulla case, has been registered under the draconian UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). Sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 121A (punishment for conspiracy), 122 (collecting arms with intent of waging war against India) of the Indian Penal Code have also been registered against those arrested.
The NIA claims that these 17 members had conspired to “wage war against India” by forming a gang called “Ansarulla”. “The accused persons and their associates had collected funds and made preparations to carry out terrorist attacks in India, with the aim of establishing Islamic rule in India,” said the NIA report. “Accused persons have been actively recruiting individuals to strike terror in India and have also been disseminating videos and other Jihadi propaganda material exhorting their supporters to conduct terrorist attacks through various methods including the use of explosives, poison, knives and vehicles, as means of attack.”
Sources within the Tamil Nadu police told The Lede that the NIA team is also attempting to find out whether these individuals have any connection with the Intelligence Bureau alert of last week about six terrorists attempting to enter Coimbatore via Sri Lanka.
The alert issued last week stated that there were attacks planned on places of worship and that the six men were likely to be disguised with “tilak and bhabhuti” in order to blend in.
Coimbatore police and Kerala police picked up a number of people for questioning last week but they have been let off since.
The case of Adbul Khader Rahim Kolliyil, in Kerala, is of special significance, since he had surrendered before an Ernakulam court when he heard that there was an alert out for him.
Rahim, in his affidavit before the court, stated that he was being targeted by a gang of human traffickers in Bahrain whom he had complained about to the police there. The Lede had interviewed his family in Thrissur and they had stated that Rahim was in financially in a hole but that he was not a religious person.
The family told The Lede that Rahim had called them and said he will return home in three days. This was a day before the alert was issued by the Intelligence Bureau, along with Rahim’s passport details and his photograph.
The IB alert had led to a virtual shutdown of Coimbatore city, as hundreds of police personnel cordoned off public places and searched all vehicles going in and out of Coimbatore.