In connection with the Coimbatore car bomb blast and the Mangaluru blast cases, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at 41 locations in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka on Wednesday.
The NIA searched 32 locations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in connection with the explosion that occurred in front of the Sangameshwarar Temple at Eswaran kovil Street in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, on October 23, 2022, and eight locations in Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Karnataka on November 19, 2022, when an IED (Pressure cooker bomb) exploded in a moving auto-rickshaw near bus stop Kankanady in Manguru.
32 locations in the districts of Coimbatore (14), Trichy (1), Nilgiris (2), Tirunelveli (3), Tuticorin (1), Chennai (3), Thiruvannamalai (2), Dindigul (1), Mayiladuthurai (1), Krishnagiri (1), Kanyakumari (1), and Tenkasi (1) of Tamil Nadu, and Ernakulam (1) of Kerala were searched for suspects’ homes based on investigational findings.
The NIA, however, conducts eight such raids in the Tamilnadu districts of Tiruppur (2) and Coimbatore (1), Kerala’s Ernakulam (4), and Karnataka’s Mysuru (1), all related to the Mangaluru bomb investigation.
According to the NIA, additional inquiries into these two cases are ongoing. “Searches conducted today have resulted in the recovery of a huge number of digital devices and cash totaling Rs 4 lakh in the two cases,” the agency added.
The NIA opened an investigation into the bombing of a car carrying explosives in front of the Kottai Eswaran Temple in the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu on October 27, 2022.
In the case, which was initially filed by the Tamil Nadu Police on October 23, last year, eleven accused individuals were previously detained by the anti-terror organisation.
According to a statement from the NIA, Jamesha Mubeen, the deceased accused, had plans to carry out a suicide assault and inflict significant damage to the Temple Complex in order to terrorise the neighbourhood after swearing bayath (allegiance) to ISIS.
Investigations have shown that the alleged conspirators met in the deep of Sathyamangalam’s forested Asanoor and Kadambur localities.
The meetings, where they plotted to plan and carry out terrorist activities, were organised by previously detained accused Umar Farook with the assistance of deceased accused Jamesha Mubeen, Mohammed Azharudin, Sheikh Hidayatullah, and Sanofar Ali.
The NIA took over the investigation into the pressure cooker explosion that occurred on November 19 in an autorickshaw in Mangaluru, where a passenger named Mohammed Shariq was carrying a pressure cooker device manufactured from an IED (IED).
Purushottam Poojari, the autorickshaw driver, and passenger Mohammed Shariq, who was carrying an IED fashioned from a pressure cooker, were both hurt in the explosion of the vehicle. The cooker bomb was intended to launch a significant attack to heighten racial tensions in the state and the coastal area. When the explosion occurred, Shariq was travelling to the planned location for the blast.
The NIA started its investigation under the provision of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, and investigating officers then questioned the main accused, Shariq, as the state police had found his links with the Islamic State (IS) in its investigation and that he had radicalised his schoolmates, Syed Yasin and Muneer Ahmed, and introduced them to IS as well.
Together, the three of them had experimented with and rehearsed the explosion on the banks of the Tunga River in the Shivamogga district. The practise explosion was also reportedly successful.
According to sources, the main accused, Shariq, had a handler who was orchestrating and instructing him regarding all these activities.