Jameesha Mubin, 29, who was killed in the recent car blast in front of a temple in Coimbatore, was among the 150 persons who were on the watch list of intelligence units in the city.
Sources in the police department said they were on the radar of the Special Intelligence Cell (SIC) and Special Intelligence Unit (SIU) for their alleged support to terror outfits such as the Islamic State, and for activities related to radicalisation, among others.
The sources said the “intelligence alerts”, as pointed out by leaders like BJP State president K. Annamalai and leading to the police being criticised for not acting proactively and having failed to prevent the blast, were “general alerts” and not specifically related to possible attacks by radicalised elements.
An officer said the first alert, circulated on July 19, was issued in the wake of a riot following the death of a Class XII girl at a school in Kallakurichi on July 17. It had a list of 96 persons and Mubin was listed 89th.
The official said the alert mainly warned of possible violence by political and caste-based organisations to register protest over the student’s death, a possible ripple effect of the July 17 riot.
Mubin’s name figured towards the end of the list due to the same reason, the officer said. According to the officer, when intelligence personnel investigated, Mubin was not found residing in the address that was given in the alert.
Alert after PFI ban
The second alert, issued on October 18, warned of possible attacks on Hindu organisations and leaders. It was issued following the ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI).
The police investigation could not find any evidence linking the accused and the blast with the ban on the PFI. Also, the police suspect that Mubin was radicalised over a period, possibly before 2019 when the National Investigation Agency (NIA) questioned him and several others as part of its crackdown on a Coimbatore-based IS module.
Investigators have also found that Mubin and his aides sourced raw materials, used in making explosives, over a long period.
Another officer privy to the police probe said on condition of anonymity that they did not get evidence of involvement of outsiders or any organisation in the blast. “Such larger aspects of the investigation will be covered by the NIA,” said the officer.