NIA had earlier received inputs that a group of four persons has been in contact with some of the accused. The National Investigations Agency (NIA) on Sunday carried out raids at three places in Kerala in connection with the Islamic State (IS) Kasaragod case

NEW DELHI: A suspect arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Kerala has admitted to be following Sri Lankan bomber Zahran Hashim. The Sri Lankan Cleric behing attacks in Colombo has radicalised several Indian youths in different parts of South India. The Easter attacks, claimed by ISIS, has resulted in death of over 250 people in Sri Lanka.

The accused identified as Riyas A alias Riyas Aboobacker (29), a native of Palakkad in Kerala during interrogation disclosed that has been following speeches/videos of Zahran Hashim of Sri Lanka for more than a year and has also followed the speeches of Zakir Naik. He admitted that he wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala, a statement from the agency said.

"Riyas has been in online contact with absconding accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla @ Abu Isa for a long time and has been following his audio clips including the clip which he had circulated on social media platform instigating others to carryout terror attacks in India. He revealed that he was also having online chat with Abdul Khayoom Abu Khalid,who was believed to be in Syria.", the NIA statement added.

NIA had earlier received inputs that a group of four persons has been in contact with some of the accused viz. Abdul Rashid, Ashfaq Majeed, Abdul Khayoom etc who had already migrated to Afghanistan and Syria. After verification, NIA carried out searches at three places on Sunday. Three group members have been interrogated for their ISIS links and their plans, said an NIA spokesperson.

The case was registered in July 2016 following the disappearance of 15 youths from Kasargod and their subsequent migration to ISIS. In this module, 14 persons to Afghanistan and one person to Syria. Accused Riyas Aboobacker will be produced before NIA Court, Kochi on Tuesday, officials added.

Riyas also claimed that he tried to convince other members of the module to follow Hashim. " The suspect is well versed with Tamil and followed Hashim speeches and videos inspiring. He tried to rope in others but could not convince as they didn't knew Tamil", an official said adding that they are interrogating Riyas to ascertain likely targets in Kerala.

Sources however clarified that Hashim never travelled to SL and has not met Hashim. "He has been frequently travelling to Tamil Nadu and may have been in contact with IS module in the southern State, " an official added.