A man who reportedly said to get inspired by the Sri Lanka bombings mastermind allegedly conspired to commit a terrorist attack in Kerala. The suspect has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency or NIA. The man identified as Riyas A, who also goes by Riyas Aboobacker and Abu Dujana, will be produced before the court in Kochi today.
The 29-year-old Riyas, originally a resident of Palakkad in Kerala, has reportedly confessed to having been inspired by Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of deadly suicide bombings on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka’s Colombo, in which over 390 were killed.
NIA arrested Riyas Aboobacker y'day in Kasaragod ISIS module case for conspiring to commit a terrorist act. He'll be produced before NIA Court in Kochi today. Case was registered in July 2016 after 15 youths disappeared from Kasaragod&their subsequent migration to ISIS. #Kerala pic.twitter.com/oyP02VPoUv— ANI (@ANI) April 30, 2019
"He had been following speeches and videos of Hashim and Zakir Naik for last one year," a senior NIA officer said.
According to NDTV, the officer said that Riyas’s disclosure was more alarming on how he was planning to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala. Meanwhile, Hasim is the leader of National Thowheed Jamaath, which is believed to have executed the highly coordinated blasts in Sri Lanka on April 21.
Riyas also claimed that he tried to convince other members of the module to follow Hashim, according to NDTV reports. "The suspect is well versed with Tamil and followed Hashim's speeches and videos. He tried to rope in others but could not convince as they didn't know Tamil", an official said. He also said that they are interrogating Riyas to determine his targets in Kerala.