KOCHI: The NIA investigation against Coimbatore-based IS module has revealed the group’s online activities had followers from Sri Lanka. Sources said the module had operated a Facebook page named ‘Khilafah GFX’ which was widely followed by IS sympathisers in India and Sri Lanka.
The probe revealed the Khilafah GFX page was started by Mohammed Azharuddin of Coimbatore who was the Facebook friend of Sri Lanka attack mastermind Zaharan Hashim. “Youth from South India and Sri Lanka followed the Facebook page. The page was used to disseminate IS propaganda. The module shared videos and photographs of IS activities including Zaharan Hashim on social media,” sources told Express.
NIA investigation has revealed that activities of Zaharan Hashim through Facebook and Telegram played a significant role in the radicalisation of vulnerable youth from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. “We have identified more youth who were radicalised following the posts of Zahran Hashim. Whether they were involved in any pro-IS activities is being verified,” an official said.
NIA has found that Coimbatore module conducted radical classes for which funds were collected. The fund was collected to further the objective of IS in India. The group held classes of radical scholars for its cadre behind closed doors. “Fund was collected through direct and online sources. These persons are also to be identified,”
The arrest of Palakkad native Riyas Aboobacker gave crucial clues about the Coimbatore module to NIA.
Shahin, a hardcore IS supporter and one of the accused in Coimbatore case, was a close friend of Riyas Aboobacker. He is suspected to have contacts with IS handlers abroad.
The attempts are on to trace Shahin to receive more information about IS activities in south India. Riyas Aboobacker had confessed to NIA that he frequently travelled to Coimbatore to meet Shahin.