In a major crackdown on the radicalisation and recruitment campaign of ISIS, the NIA on Saturday carried out searches at 31 locations in the two southern States -- Tamil Nadu and Telangana, and seized several digital devices and documents, along with Indian currency worth Rs 60 lakh and $18,200.
An anti-terror probe agency spokesperson said that the NIA was in the process of examining the data contained in the mobile phones, laptops and hard discs seized during the searches.
The official said, “Several incriminating books in Arabic and vernacular languages were also seized during the searches, in addition to Rs 60 lakh and $18,200.”
Meanwhile, an NIA source said that the team raided the residences of a few suspects in Chennai, Coimbatore and Tenkasi and questioned them for five hours. It also seized digital devices during the raid.
The NIA has summoned some of the suspects for questioning in the radicalisation and recruitment case on September 20 at its office in Chennai, the source added.
The official said the NIA team carried out the raids early in the morning at 22 locations in Coimbatore, three in Chennai and one in Kadayanallur, Tenkasi district in Tamil Nadu. It also searched five locations in Hyderabad and Cyberabad in Telangana.
The NIA registered a case under several sections of the IPC and of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, pertaining to clandestine operations by a group of individuals to radicalise gullible youth.
“The radicalisation was being carried out in the garb of conducting Arabic language classes at their regional study centres. Radicalisation material and activities were being promoted online through social media platforms and mobile applications like WhatsApp and Telegram,” the official said.
The official said that the NIA probe found that ISIS-inspired agent provocateurs were engaged in propagation of the ‘Khilafat’ ideology, which is “inimical” to India’s constitutionally-established principles of secularism and democracy.
“The people involved in the case had entered into a conspiracy to radicalise and recruit youth who were later found involved in terrorist as well as unlawful acts and activities. One such terror attack was related to the Coimbatore car bomb blast case of October 23 last year,” the official said.
The official added that the NIA’s probe is part of the agency’s concerted efforts to thwart the ISIS’ attempts to recruit vulnerable youth into the terrorist network that is working actively to spread terror in the country with the overarching aim of disturbing and disrupting peace and communal harmony.