COIMBATORE, KOCHI: Following the search of two houses in the city by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in connection with suspected IS links of two Muslim youth, the NIA officials interrogated five youth from Coimbatore and one from Tirupur on Saturday.
The officials questioned them about suspected links through the social media with members of an IS module that was active in India.
On Thursday, an NIA team from Kochi had searched the houses of S Abdullah of Pallivasal Street at Karumbukadai, and A Adbul Rahman of Kottaikaran Pudur in Ukkadam. They had then called them to Kochi for further questioning on Friday.
After 12-hour grilling, they were asked to appear again on Saturday.
Based on information from the two, three NIA teams searched the houses and work premises of five youth in the city. They are A Sanafar Ali (23) of Vincent Road, Ukkadam, A Saddam Hussain (25) of Kasthuri Garden near Pillaiyarpuram, and Vasim Khan, Z Towfeeq Rahman (23), and M Nishar Ahamad (32) — all three from Karumbukkadai.
Sanafar Ali and Saddam Hussain, who own a shop selling old books on Vincent Road, and Nazeer, were asked to appear before the NIA officials at the office of the City Police Commissioner, while Vasim Khan and Towfeeq Rahman taken to the Gandhipuram Police Station.
After questioning them for nearly six hours, all the five were released, but asked to appear for further questioning at the NIA’s Kochi office on Monday.
Meanwhile, based on specific information, Abdul Razaak, a tailor in a garment company, was questioned in Tirupur by NIA officials. He has also been asked to appear at the NIA’s Kochi office on Monday for further investigation.
The NIA officials have seized the mobile phones of all the youth to search for links with members of the IS module.
Local police officials said the fresh batch of youth were questioned as they were close friends of Abdul Rahman and Abdullah.
Though the IS is fast losing ground in its former strongholds in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan, the terror outfit is continuing to recruit foreign fighters from several countries, including India.
The investigation agency has found that the IS fighters hailing from Kerala, who had joined the terror outfit’s ranks in Afghanistan, are luring radicalised youth to join them.
“Two of the suspects had been communicating with Abdul Rashid of Kasargod, frequently for the past several months. It was Abdul Rashid, who led 23 people hailing from Kasargod and Palakkad to migrate to Afghanistan. He has been urging the suspects to travel to the IS territory in Afghanistan and support its activities,” an NIA officer said.
The NIA suspects that these youth were making arrangements for moving to Afganistan or Syria to join IS.