Mohammed Azharudheen, a reclusive man radicalised by Hashim

Mohammed Azharudheen, suspected leader of the Coimbatore-based IS-inspired module, was radicalised by the speeches and social media posts of Zahran Hashim, the master mind of Easter Sunday terror strikes in Sri Lanka, said sources in the know of the investigation.

A resident of Ponvizha Nagar near South Ukkadam, Azharudheen is remembered as a soft but reclusive person by others. A person who knows the whereabouts of Azharudheen, whom The Hindu contacted, said that his family members were not ready to react on the arrest.

Investigations found that Azharudheen had held at least three meetings with other members of the module and like-minded people in Coimbatore. Members of the module reportedly had brief meetings after offering prayers at mosques, said a source.

Employee of an international travel agency at Karumbukadai near Ukkadam, Hashim was earlier working as graphics designer.

The NIA statement on the case registered against the module said that Azharudheen managed a Facebook page named “KhilafahGFX” through which he propagated IS ideology. However, a person closely associated with Azharudheen claimed that such a Facebook page did not exist.

“He had been doing graphics and designing works before joining the travel agency. 'KhilafahGFX' simply means ‘Khilafah graphics’. He had designed marriage invitations, notices and other items under this banner. We do not believe the findings of the NIA against him,” the person said, on condition of anonymity.

Another person associated with the Coimbatore District United Jamaat said that the body would very likely issue an official statement regarding its stand on the NIA findings on the module and the presence of suspected IS-inspired operatives in the community.

The article was corrected for a factual error

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2021 8:37:33 AM |

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