The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday, February 10, carried out searches in eight districts of Tamil Nadu in connection with the Coimbatore car blast case. The searches were conducted in 27 locations in different parts of the state including Chennai, Trichy, Madurai, Coimbatore and Tirunelveli. In Chennai alone, authorities carried out simultaneous searches in five different locations. According to reports, the searches began at 4 am. Full details of the searches are yet to emerge.
The raids are in relation to the Coimbatore car bomb blast that happened back in October 23, 2022, on Deepavali eve.
On 23 October, 2022, a car in which 29-year old Jamesha Mubin was travelling exploded near the Kottai Eswaran Temple in Ukkadam, which was a communally sensitive spot. Mubin, who was allegedly an ISIS sympathiser, died in the explosion. His car carried a gas cylinder. Nails, marbles, and some other items were found in the vehicle leading to suspicion. Police later found 75-kg of explosives including potassium nitrate from his residence.
This is the fourth time that the NIA authorities are conducting searches regarding the car blast case. Last year in September, authorities carried out searches in 25 locations in Tamil Nadu including Hyderabad.
So far at least 13 persons linked to the blast have been arrested by the NIA.
Mubin, who was an engineer, was under the NIA radar in 2019 in the aftermath of the Easter bomb blasts in Sri Lanka. Though he was questioned by the authorities, he was let off as there was no credible evidence against him. However, he was put under the ‘watchlist’ of central and state intelligence agencies as they were suspicious that Mubin was radicalised and inspired by ISIS ideology.
Before the car blast, Mubin was planning to launch an attack. In this regard, he allegedly travelled to Kerala several times and also met Rashid Ali, a convict in the Kerala ISIS module case.