THE National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested an Islamic State sympathizer and follower of alleged Sri Lanka bombings mastermind Zahran Hasim, the agency said. Riyas Aboobacker was arrested from Kerala after he disclosed NIA investigators that he has been following speeches and videos of Hashim, a radical Tamil-speaking cleric who is believed to have masterminded the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka which left 253 people dead and over 500 injured.
The 29-year-old informed the NIA officials that he has been following Hasim for more than a year and has also followed the speeches of Zakir Naik, an absconding Indian Islamic preacher and the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation. Aboobacker admitted that he wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala. He was being questioned by the NIA since Sunday when the agency unearthed the Kasargod module of the terrorist outfit in Kerala during multiple raids at the house of three suspects. Aboobacker alias Abu Dujana, a resident of Palakkad in Kerala, has been arrested on charges for conspiring to commit a terrorist act, an NIA statement said.
The suspect, NIA said, revealed during his interrogation that he had been in online contact with an absconding suspect Abdul Rashid Abdulla for a long time and has been following his audio clips including the clip which he had circulated on social media platform instigating others to carry out terror attacks in India. Aboobacker revealed that he was also having online chat with a suspect in Valapattanam IS case.