The National Investigation Agency has been conducting searches in atleast 10 locations across Coimbatore from 5.30 am on Wednesday. The searches, according to NIA sources, are at the residences of youths suspected to be in contact with members of the Islamic State (IS).
"We have multiple search warrants and are raiding residences of men who are suspected to be organising groups to join the ISIS or are in touch with terror groups and are planning to join them," says an NIA source.
On reports that the searches are connected to Sri Lanka, he says, "No, that is not the case. This is in continuation to searches we have been conducting in Kochi in Kerala."
The Kochi unit of the NIA along with local police is reportedly part of the team carrying out the searches. The focus of the searches are at Anbunagar in Ukkadam. Residences in areas such as Kuniyamuthur and Pothanur are also being searched.
Only last month , the NIA searched the houses of 10 men arrested in 2018 for suspected links with IS after they formed a group called 'Shahadat (martyrdom) is our goal'. The accused were arrested from different parts of Tamil Nadu in April 2018 for raising funds to procure arms. Their residences in Tiruvarur, Ramanathapuram, Cuddalore and Salem were searched.
(This is a developing story)