New Delhi/Kochi: Shocking details emerged Thursday, three days after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) picked up an Islamic State (ISIS) suspect with Kerala roots from Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu.
The NIA said that Subahani Haja Moideen (31), who had conspired to carry out terror activities in the country and was planning to collect chemical explosives from cracker manufacturers in Tamil Nadu, got battle training in Iraq and had waged war for the terrorist outfit there.
Sources Thursday claimed that Subahani was planning to target some judges posted in Kerala as well as foreign tourists visiting beach resorts in the state.
He was under watch of the security agencies and when he was giving shape to the plans to carry out the terror attacks in Kerala, NIA arrested him soon after, sources said.
Subahani is said to be the only Indian who got hardened battle training in Mosul in Iraq, they said.
NIA had taken him into custody on October 3. He was taken to the NIA office in Kochi for questioning and was officially arrested Wednesday in connection with a case related to activities of the banned ISIS in India. He has been sent in custody of the investigating team till October 14.
Stint in Iraq
The accused was radicalized and recruited into ISIS through social media platforms. He had left India for Istanbul from Chennai last year on the pretext of performing 'Umrah', the NIA said in a statement Thursday.
After reaching Istanbul, he crossed over along with other people from Pakistan and Afghanistan to Iraqi territory under the control of ISIS.
From there, he was taken to Mosul where he underwent detailed 'religious training' followed by combat training which included a course in automated weapons before being deputed to fight war for almost two weeks.
During the war, he told interrogators that he was paid $100 per month as an allowance by ISIS besides accommodation and food.
Why did Subahani return?
However, he told interrogators that he could not withstand the violence and war misery in Mosul and decided to leave especially after he saw two of his friends getting charred.
He was jailed by ISIS and produced before an Islamic judge who sent him to Syria. He claimed that he was allowed to cross over to Turkey from where he contacted his family with the help of the Indian consulate at Istanbul.
He arrived in Mumbai after a gap of six months in September last year on an emergency certificate and returned to his ancestral place where he was staying with his wife and managed to get a job at a jewellery shop at Kadayanallur in Tirunelveli.
"However, once back and settled, he again got in touch with ISIS handlers over Internet and was planning to collect explosives and precursor chemicals from Sivakasi at their instance.
"He had traveled to Chennai, Coimbatore and other places to meet other local contacts in the conspiracy, collect money and procure explosives for terrorist acts as guided and motivated by ISIS handlers," the NIA said.
Subahani Haja Moideen originally hails from Maliyekkal House, Market Road, Thodupuzha in Kerala's Idukki district, NIA said in the press release.
Subahani, who lived in Thodapuzha for over 20 years, had developed contacts with some persons with links with ISIS. He fled Thodapuzha after the NIA arrested some of his associates there and went to Tirunelveli. He had been residing at Kadayanallur in Tirunelveli.
(With agency inputs)