Kochi: The cybercrime sleuths, helping the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the recent Mangaluru and Coimbatore blast cases, are in Kochi as part of the probe into the activities of one of the accused in Kochi.
Muhammed Shariq, the alleged mastermind of the Mangaluru blast, was based in Kochi for a few days. The NIA officers are attempting to find out who all were contacted by him while in Kochi.
The investigation team got information that Shariq had used satellite phones and had visited a few other towns in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu apparrently for identifying terror targets and to coordinate with local operators.
Shariq had stayed in many parts of Kochi city and nearby Aluva. As per the preliminary findings, Shariq was in Kochi to coordinate chemical drug deals. The probe team also suspects that a person who controlled Shariq’s moves was in Kochi. The NIA is also inquiring whether anti-national gangs had received any political support.
The investigation team also suspects that mobilisation of funds for terrorist activities in southern India was reportedly carried out in Kerala. It is also suspected that gold and drug smugglings are carried out to fund extremist activities.
Shariq, a native of Thirthahalli in Shivamogga district, was travelling in an autorickshaw with a pressure cooker fitted with a detonator when it exploded at Kankanadi, on the outskirts of Mangaluru on November 19.
Shariq is currently undergoing treatment after he himself was injured in the blast.
The blast in Coimbatore preceded the one in Mangaluru. A terror operative, named Mubin, died in the suspected suicide bombing bid near a temple.