Coimbatore: The National Investigation Agency on Friday arrested Md. Azharuddin, who it said was the kingpin of ISIS terror module operating from here and having links with international terror groups on social media and other means.
"One accused Md. Azharuddin of Coimbatore arrested by NIA in connection with ISIS in Tamilnadu. Earlier, today morning, NIA had conducted search at his place", said a NIA tweet Friday evening.
In fact, NIA has been on the trail of Azharuddin and his associates operating in various parts of South India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The two states are currently at the top of the target terrain for the ISIS whose leadership in the region believe that the two neighbouring states have become “extremely vulnerable” to the extremists' infiltration and planning 'hits' either independently or in association with some associate-outfits in the region.
The changed political environment after the demise of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa and the consequent dispersal of priorities for the successors in power-from hard administration to politics of survival--could have created such a cozy sense of comfort and confidence, security experts feel.
Only on Wednesday, the NIA had released some details of the raids it had carried out from dawn to dusk in seven places linked to the merchants of Islamic terror.
Among those raided places were the premises of 32-year-old Azharuddin at Ukkadam in Coimbatore. The suspect was described by the NIA as “the leader of the terror module and has been maintaining the Facebook page named 'KhilafahGFX' through which he has been propagating the ideology of ISIS/Daish….and has been a FB friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim”.
The NIA has been able to establish links between the terror modules operating in Tamil Nadu and Kerala for some time now.
The intelligence gathered from the intercepted communications and admissions by the nabbed suspects under intense interrogation “has helped in preparing well to counter any subversive planning by these elements”, said a source, adding that it was from one such 'verified' intel-input that the alert was sent to Colombo regarding suicide bomb attacks. Unfortunately, that alert went wasted as the Easter bombings claimed many lives in the Sri Lankan capital.
The NIA tweet now has received huge response on social media with several people hailing the agency for its dedicated and intense planning and operations to ensure that South India stayed safe, despite its vulnerability in terms of the distracted political leadership and poor local policing. “The NIA is the best thing to happen for this country. To its credit, most of the metros have been blast free for a decade”, said Digital Nagrik? @diginagrik. Another twitterati raised a serious issue, posting: “Question is how could they operate freely in Tamil Nadu, Coimbatore in particular without any hurdle, state intelligence dept not working well, we're they giving helping hand to terrorists? Must look into, issue z national security?” He got a quick response to that tweet, as a concerned woman posted thus: “TN shows more energy for being Anti Hindi than security issues”....