NIA arrests eight for alleged IS links
Kannur: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials on Sunday arrested eight persons from Kerala and Coimbatore for suspected links with the terror outfit, Islamic State.
In Kerala, five were nabbed from Kanakamala near Panur in Kannur and one from Kuttiyadi in Kozhikode.
The NIA said that those arrested from Kanakamala belonged to Islamic State’s Kerala faction called 'Ansar Ul- Khaleefa.' The leaders of 'Ansar Ul- Khaleefa' met at Kanakamala to plan explosions and attacks against prominent personalities.The NIA has also revealed that those nabbed from Kanakamala planned to ram their vehicle into a public meeting in Kochi.
The five were picked up by the officials as they were holding a clandestine meeting at a cashew planation in Kanakamala. The arrested have been identified as Manseed of Aniyaram, Abu Basheer of Coimbatore, Swalih Mohammed of Thrissur, Safwan of Malappuram and Jasim of Kozhikode.
After an interrogation, the team also arrested Ramshad belonging to Valayannoor in Kuttiyadi. Though one more person was taken into custody, he was later let off.
Apart from Kerala police, personnel from Delhi and Telangana police too participated in the operation.
As per the information obtained from Abu Basheer, two more persons -- Navas (24), Muhammed Rahman (26)-- were picked up from GM Nagar at Ukkadam in Coimbatore on Sunday night
As many as 21 persons, who had gone missing from Kerala, were suspected to have joined the IS and the NIA carried out the searches in Kozhikode and Kannur districts as part of the probe into this case.
The interrogation is underway at an undisclosed location while searches are progressing at Chennai, Coimbatore and Malappuram.
The NIA conducted the search upon receiving information that youths are collecting arms and explosives in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
A team headed by the IG of NIA, Chennai unit reached Kanakamala in a private vehicle around 12.30 pm on Sunday. In a surprise move, they rounded up the five persons. Further, the team interrogated the five till 3.30 pm after locking them in the room of security staff mobile tower.
Unconfirmed reports say three more members of the gang managed to flee the spot.
As the news spread, the local residents thronged the area in large number, outnumbering the police personnel. They further assembled on the road and wanted to officials to show them the arrested persons. Subsequently, police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the crowd.