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Kerala Police on high alert after Sri Lanka blasts: DGP

The alert has also been given to Indian Coast Guard, Commandos and bomb detachment squad.

SNS | New Delhi |

The Kerala Police is on high alert ever since the Sri Lanka blasts which left 253 people dead and around 500 wounded on 21 April.

Kerala Director General of Police (DGP) Loknath Behera said, “An analysis of large volumes of technical data like phone calls, social media activities being done daily.”

He also said that the alert has also been given to Indian Coast Guard, Commandos and bomb detachment squad.

The DGP’s comment came a day after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested a man, said to be a follower of Sri Lankan Easter bombing mastermind Zahran Hashim, on charges of conspiring to commit a terrorist act in Kerala.

The NIA, which is probing the Kasaragod ISIS module case, picked up Riyas Aboobacker or Abu Dujana, a resident of Palakkad, on Sunday following a raid at three places.

Aboobacker, 29, revealed that he has been following speeches and videos of Hashim for more than a year besides those of controversial Islamic preacher Zakir Naik. Aboobacker also said that he has been in online contact with absconding accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla aka Abu Isa and Abdul Khayoom aka Abu Khalid (accused in Valapattanam ISIS case), who is believed to be in Syria.

An NIA spokesperson said that Aboobacker admitted that he wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala.

The NIA on Sunday carried out raids at three places at Kasaragod and Palakkad in Kerala in a probe connected to an Islamic State module case. The agency also questioned three suspects believed to have links to some of the people from the state who left for Syria and Iraq to join the IS.

The probe agency also recovered incriminating evidence from the houses raided on Sunday.

Mobile phones, SIM cards, memory chips, pen drives and handwritten notes in Arabic and Malayalam were among the material recovered in the raids.

Authorities in Sri Lanka had till Sunday arrested a total of 106 suspects in multiple raids across the country since the 21 April blasts at three churches and three five-star hotels.

Police are continuing their search for other members of the National Thowheeth Jamaath (NTJ), the local terror outfit and splinter group of the Islamic State, which carried out the blast.

President Maithripala Sirisena said on Friday that over 130 suspects linked to the terror group have been operating in the country. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said Sri Lanka needs new laws to deal with threats posed by local terror outfits linked to ISIS.