In a major breakthrough, an Islamic preacher was taken into custody from Panur, Kerala for his alleged links with terror outfit Islamic State (IS).
Mohammed Hanif, who hails from Kambalakkad in Wynad was taken into custody from Panur on 13 August night, police said.
Hanif allegedly taught 11 of the 21 youth from Kerala, who are suspected to have joined the IS, police said.
"We have taken a person into custody. Verification is on. As of now, we cannot conclude if he has any links with IS," Kannur District Police Chief Kori Sanjaykumar Gurudin said.
A Mumbai police team is also in Kannur and are verifying if he was the one against whom a case had also been registered in Mumbai, they added. Hanif is reported to have worked as preacher in various places, police said.
On 8 August, police had said of the 21 persons who went gone missing from the state, 17 were from Kasaragod and four from Palakkad. They include four women and three children. Their disappearance came to light last month after the families approached officials in Kasaragod.
--With inputs from PTI