- The three are said to be in touch with some who left Kerala to join ISIS
- Probe agency NIA also conducted raids at the homes of the people
- The agency also recovered a number of phones, SIM cards, memory cards
Three residents of Kasaragod and Palakkad districts are being questioned by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) as part of a probe into ISIS recruitments from Kerala. Incriminating evidence was said to have been recovered during raids at their homes today.
The three are believed to have been in touch with some of the people who left the state to join the international terror group. Sources said the probe agency is also trying to establish if they have links with those involved in the April 21 suicide bomb attacks in Sri Lanka.
According to a press release, NIA officials recovered a number of devices such as mobile phones, phone SIM cards, memory chips, pen drives and handwritten notes in Arabic and Malayalam from their possession. DVDs of religious speeches and books authored by controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik were also found during the raids.
The houses raided in Kasaragod belonged to Aboobackar Siddique and Ahammad Arafath. The NIA has issued a notice asking them to appear at its Kochi office for further questioning on Monday. The identity of the third suspect is yet to be confirmed.
A number of people from Kerala left for Syria and Iraq to join the terror group over the last few years, becoming a cause of concern for intelligence agencies. While 21 residents of the southern state -- including six women and children -- travelled to Syria from various districts of Kerala in May 2016, a group of Keralites went missing under suspicious circumstances from the Gulf between December 2016 and January 2017. Many of them were reportedly killed when the caliphate fell in the following months.
A series of suicide bombings by terrorists at churches and high-end hotels in Sri Lanka killed over 250 people on Easter Sunday, sparking condemnation from countries across the globe. After ISIS took responsibility for the attacks, the country's security forces raided a "jihadi safe house" in the eastern town of Kalmunai that resulted in the death of 15 suspected terrorists. Among the casualties were three women and six children.
Two terror groups -- the National Thawheedh Jamaath and Jamathei Millathu Ibrahim -- have also been banned on suspicion of their direct involvement in the Easter Sunday attacks.