Riyas drew inspiration from terror strike in Lanka: NIA probe

NIA opposes accused Riyas Aboobacker’s bail plea; produces evidence of audio clips, mobile chats of IS handlers in court

Published: 23rd May 2019 03:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd May 2019 03:34 AM   |  A+A-

Riyas Aboobacker

Express News Service

KOCHI: The NIA investigation into Islamic State (IS)-linked module which planned suicide attack on Kerala has revealed that Palakkad native Riyas Aboobacker drew inspiration from Zaharan Hashim, the mastermind of Sri Lanka terror attack to conduct fidayeen attack on Kerala. The NIA on Wednesday produced the case diary before the NIA Court in Kochi while opposing the bail plea filed by Riyas Aboobacker. The national agency submitted a pen drive containing audio clips sent by an IS handler from abroad which was retrieved from the mobile phone of the accused.

“Though he was following IS ideology since 2016, it was only recently that he developed a mentality to conduct fidayeen attack. We have got evidence that the accused drew inspiration for the fidayeen attack from a person involved in the Sri Lanka blasts. He was also inspired by a story in the Quran in which a soldier sacrifices his life for the commander. Though the story was all about commitment, the handlers of Riyas wrongly interpreted it for conducting suicide attack,” NIA prosecutor Arjun Ambalapatta submitted before the court.

In the case diary, the NIA submitted pictures of Sri Lanka attack and other jihadi literature recovered from the mobile phone of Riyas. There were also statements given by the co-accused and witnesses. “The contents recovered from the mobile phone runs over 2 lakh pages. There are also audio clips, books on jihad, videos and photographs to ‘motivate’ Riyas to launch the attack. These documents have been submitted to C-DAC for detailed analysis,” NIA submitted before the court. 

Considering the nature of the content, including audio clips, NIA Judge K Sathyan decided to access it in his chamber. The court reserved its order on the bail petition for Friday. According to sources, Riyas was planning the fidayeen attack at a place in Palakkad.“Riyas focused on religious places to conduct the attack. He had identified a religious place in Palakkad for the attack. Abdul Khayoom alias Abu Khalid trained him to conduct the attack.  We have recovered several chats between them in which they discussed the targets,” sources said.

Riyas Aboobacker was arrested on April 29, on the basis of a tip-off that a four-member IS module is active in Kerala. Raids were held at Kasaragod and Palakkad. Subsequently, two persons from Kasaragod and one from Kollam were interrogated by the NIA. They were arraigned as co-accused, along with Riyas. However, their arrest was not recorded.

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