The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested three persons as it conducted simultaneous searches at 11 locations in Kerala, Karnataka and Delhi in connection with terror activities of a group propagating the violent ideology of the ISIS, an official said.
An NIA spokesperson said the searches were carried out by the premier anti-terror probe agency with local police units at 11 locations -- eight in Kerala's Kannur, Mallapuram, Kollam and Kasargod districts, two in Bengaluru and one in Delhi.
The case pertains to the terrorist activities of a group led by one Mohammed Ameen of Kerala, the official said.
Three people -- Ameen and his associates Mushab Anuvar and Rahees Rashid -- were arrested after preliminary examination, the NIA official said.
The group has been running various ISIS propaganda channels on different social media platforms such as Telegram, Hoop and Instagram for propagating the violent Jihadi ideology of ISIS, and radicalising and recruiting new members to the module, the NIA official said.
The NIA had registered a case against seven known and other unnamed persons under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act on March 5, 2021.
The NIA official said the group of radicalised individuals, under the leadership of Ameen and having pledged allegiance to the proscribed terrorist organisation ISIS, had identified certain people in Kerala and Karnataka for targeted killing.
They had also planned to undertake Hijrat (religious migration) to Jammu and Kashmir for engaging in terrorist acts, the official said, adding that Ameen had travelled to Jammu and Kashmir immediately after his return to India from Bahrain in March, 2020 and had been camping in Delhi for last two months for establishing connection with Jammu and Kashmir-based operatives having allegiance to the ISIS.
The searches, which took place following the extensive verification by the NIA, the Delhi Police's Special Cell and the Kerala Police's Anti-Terrorism Squad, were conducted at the premises of Ameen and his associates who were members of the various groups/channels on encrypted chat platforms, according to the NIA.
During the searches, several digital devices including laptops, mobiles, hard disk drives, pen drives, multiple SIM cards of different service providers and incriminating documents have been seized, the official said.
The seized items are being scrutinised and will be sent for forensic examination, the NIA official said, adding that further investigation in the case continues.