KOCHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has identified two busy areas in Kochi where the Islamic State (IS) module met and conspired to carry out jihadi operations in Kerala. The NIA on Friday produced Palakkad native Riyas Aboobacker before the NIA Court after interrogating him in custody for five days.
It was on April 28 the agency carried out searches at Palakkad and Kasaragod after receiving information about a four-member module having links with IS operatives from Kerala who migrated to Afghanistan and Syria. Later, the NIA arrested Riyas Aboobacker who was prepared by his handlers to conduct suicide attacks in Kerala. Though the NIA interrogated two men from Kasaragod and a Kollam native - the other members of the module - their arrest was not recorded.
“During the custodial interrogation of Riyas, information from Facebook and Gmail accounts has been extracted. Two conspiracy places were identified and necessary information was collected. They held two meetings at two busy places in Kochi for furthering IS operations in Kerala,” sources said.
The NIA will also interrogate Riyas Aboobacker again based on digital evidence collected from his mobile phone. “The mirror image of one of the mobile phones of the accused has been obtained. The preliminary analysis of the mirror image reveals information about his links with IS operatives. After completing the full analysis of the mirror image, we would seek his custody for interrogation again. It would help us to receive information about the involvement of other module members and operations they planned,” an officer said. The NIA has decided not to record the arrest of three other members of the module. One of the members recently came from Qatar and appeared before the NIA for interrogation.
“We could not obtain substantial evidence to arrest them. Two of them would be turned witnesses in the case. The decision on proceeding further against one accused would be taken on the basis of evidence received as part of the probe,” an officer said.
Remanded till May 28
Riyas Aboobacker was later shifted to Ernakulam Sub-Jail after being remanded till May 28. He has filed a bail petition which will be considered on May 16