The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday placed under arrest one Riyas A, alias Riyas Aboobacker, alias Abu Dujana, for allegedly conspiring to commit a terrorist act.
The 29-year-old who has been arrested has reportedly confessed to have been inspired by Zahran Hashim, the alleged mastermind behind the last Sunday’s suicide bombings in Sri Lanka. He has told the investigating agency that he had been following Hashim’s speeches/videos for more than a year. Riyas has also been following the speeches of Zakir Naik.
A statement by the NIA said that the alleged accused Riyas, had, during interrogation, disclosed that he had been in contact with absconding accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla alias Abu Isa for a long time and that he had been following Abdul’s audio clips, “including the clip which he had circulated on social media platform instigating others to carry out terror attacks in India”.
During the course of the interrogation, Riyas also admitted that he wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala.
During his interrogation, Riyas has also revealed that he had been holding online chats with Abdul Khayoom alias Abu Khalid (the accused in the Valapattanam ISIS case) who was believed to be in Syria.
The arrest of Riyas came after NIA received input that a group of four persons had been in touch with some of the accused that is Abdul Rashid, Ashfaq Majeed, Abdul Khayoom etc who had already migrated to Afghanistan and Syria.
After verifying the information, the NIA conducted seraches at three places – two in Kasaragod and one in Palakkad district – on Sunday. Following the raids, three group members were interrogated in connection with their ISIS links and plans.
The Sri Lanka suicide bombings that took place on April 21 were carried out by the National Thowheeth Jamaat (NTJ) a little known group that appears to have been inspried by the Islamic State (IS) though direct links between the two are yet to be established.
The NTJ was formed in Kattankudy, a Muslim-dominated town in eastern Sri Lanka, by Zahran Hashim, alias Abu Ubaida, who is believed to have been the suicide bomber who targeted the Shangri-La Hotel with military grade explosives.