The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is looking for six persons who have gone off the radar after their names surfaced for receiving and sending funds on behalf of the Islamic State (IS) to establish its presence here.
An official said the accused had helped a dozen people leave for Syria and Iraq by mobilising funds for them.
The Hindu has accessed the details of eight suspects from Tamil Nadu who have been named in an FIR filed by the NIA. They are Haja Fakkrudeen (Cuddalore), Khaja Moideen (Cuddalore), Shakul Hameed (Chennai), Ansar Meeran (Chennai), Masood Asarudeen (Tirunelveli), Sadiq Basha (Nagapattinam), Mohammad Sayed Abu Thahir (Karur) and Mohammed Thabraze (Chennai).
The ninth suspect Nouman Jaleel is from Telangana.
Fakkrudeen, Thahir and Hameed are said to be in Syria, but they have also been named in the present case. Their names had surfaced during the interrogation of Adnan Hassan Damoodi, 36, a resident of Bhatkal in Karnataka and a former Indian Mujahideen operative, who was deported from the UAE last year for propagating the ideology of the IS on social media platforms.
“It was during Damoodi’s interrogation that these names surfaced, but as soon as we registered a case in January this year, the nine men went off the radar. We were keeping a watch on them for the past one year,” said a senior intelligence official.
Jaleel, a civil engineer from Hyderabad, was picked up by agencies last year and released after being counselled. He had alleged at a press conference that the NIA was forcing him to become a witness against a few suspects, who were arrested from Hyderabad in July for alleged activities supporting the IS.
Fakkruddeen and his family became citizens of Singapore six years ago. In November 2013, he, along with his wife and three children, went to Syria, but came back to India as he could not establish any contact with IS operatives there. In Syria, he is reported to have stayed with some Chechen Mujahideen. On January 22, 2014, he left Chennai for Syria through Turkey and has been untraceable since.
Damoodi had earlier funded three men from Hyderabad who had attempted twice to flee India. They first tried to go to Syria through Bangladesh and Afghanistan. When they were caught, a second attempt was made to go to the Kashmir Valley but they were caught at the Nagpur airport. “All this while they were available and evidence was being collected against them. As soon as a case was registered against them in January this year, all of them have slipped off the radar, at least two left the country in the past two years,” said the official.
An FIR filed by the NIA said: “A group of nine persons — eight hailing from Tamil Nadu and one from Telengana — and some other unknown persons, with the intention to further the activities of Daesh/Islamic State, a banned terrorist organization in India, hatched a criminal conspiracy in Chennai and other parts of the country by forming a terrorist gang which raised and received funds, organised camps, recruited and trained some persons, and facilitated their travel to Syria to join the IS.”