Tamil Nadu police zero in on locations of suspected Islamic State operatives

Senior police officers told to search their premises if their activities in the recent past are found to be suspicious

Updated - October 31, 2022 01:21 pm IST

Published - October 31, 2022 12:19 am IST - CHENNAI:

Jameesha Mubin, who was killed in the car explosion in Coimbatore. Photo: Special Arrangement

Jameesha Mubin, who was killed in the car explosion in Coimbatore. Photo: Special Arrangement

As part of a Statewide operation, the Tamil Nadu police have zeroed in on the locations of suspected Islamic State (IS) operatives whose names figured in an alert shared by the State intelligence.

The alert, which was sent to the Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore, on July 19, 2022, had a list of 96 suspected IS operatives, including Jameesha Mubin who died in the car explosion in Coimbatore on October 23.

Soon after the blast, another alert was sent to the Commissioners and Superintendents of Police of all cities/districts with a list of suspected IS operatives/sympathisers, asking them to step up vigil, police sources said on Sunday.

Searches authorised 

Senior police officers were told to conduct searches on the premises of the suspects if their activities in the recent past were found to be suspicious. Besides looking at technical evidence, including social media presence, the police were verifying their bank accounts to find out suspicious entries, if any, the sources said.

On how Mubin managed to evade the surveillance of the law-enforcement agencies despite his name figuring in the watch list, a senior police officer said Mubin kept himself away from visible religious activities and stayed aloof.

Also Read | NIA team inspects car blast site in Coimbatore

With the help of his associates, he not only evaded police surveillance but also accumulated a huge quantity of explosive substances in his house, having procured them in small quantities from various sources.

Self-imposed curbs

“The self-imposed restrictions on his movement and social life kept him out of sight and hardly gave an impression that he would plan a [suspected] ‘lone wolf’ attack. He was indeed under the watch of multiple intelligence security agencies along with others,” said the officer who preferred anonymity.

After the Ministry of Home Affairs issued an alert on October 18, which the officer said was routine and general and could not be connected to the blast, security was strengthened for prominent leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and other Hindu organisations. Armed guards were deployed at their offices and places of stay.

“Personal Security Officers are still continuing for the protectees who have been assigned different scales of security,” he said.

Also Read | Accused conducted reconnaissance of targets before attack

As for the analysis of the mobile phone call records of Mubin and his associates and whether any clue emerged in the investigation so far as to who the suspected suicide bomber’s handler was and what was the target of attack, the officer said the National Investigation Agency had taken over the probe and would share details of breakthroughs, if any.

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