Tamil Nadu

IS sympathisers planned suicide bombings at places of worship: FIR

The three suspected Islamic State (IS) sympathisers arrested by the Coimbatore city police last week were allegedly planning to turn suicide bombers and target churches, temples and public places in Coimbatore, according to an FIR registered in connection with the case.

The FIR alleged that the trio had discussed launching attacks using trucks, possibly inspired by similar attacks in 2016 carried out by IS in Nice in France and in Berlin in Germany, and eliminating ‘kafirs’ (non-believers) using knives.

It also alleged that the accused — Mohammed Hussain, 25, from Ukkadam, A. Shajahan, 25, from Anbu Nagar and Sheik Safiullah, 36, from Karumbukkadai — had plans to kill personnel involved in intelligence-gathering operations. They wanted to execute such attacks “to show their might and teach others a lesson”.

The FIR said an informer had alerted the Podanur police on June 12 about the alleged IS-inspired activities of the accused. The informer had claimed that the men had praised the bombings carried out by the National Thowheed Jamath in Sri Lanka and the ‘martyrdom’ of the suicide bombers.

The FIR said the informer told the police that the trio had sourced photos and pamphlets on such attacks from foreign contacts and had been planning to sacrifice their lives by carrying out attacks in Coimbatore in the name of IS.

Following this, the police kept tabs on the activities of Hussain, Shajahan and Safiullah and found that they had been praising the terror attacks in Sri Lanka among themselves and their circle of friends. The police, the FIR claimed, found that the suspects were watching and sharing videos of jihad launched by IS against the governments in Syria and Iraq. They also translated literature related to various topics, including ‘Khawarij’, a name associated with IS fighters, into Tamil.

“Their words and actions were found to be that of religious fundamentalists. They had decided to instil fear and terror in the minds of people in the religiously volatile Coimbatore by killing those who were against jihadi ideologies and some intelligence officials. They had planned to infringe on the religious harmony in Coimbatore,” the FIR said.

The accused are currently in judicial custody.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 2:23:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/is-sympathisers-planned-suicide-bombings-at-places-of-worship/article28023121.ece

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