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Coimbatore ‘suicide bomber’ had taken ISIS oath, ‘planned to attack temple’, claim investigators

Jamesha Mubeen, 29, was in the vehicle at the time of the 23 October blast in front of Tamil Nadu's Kottai Eswaran Temple & was the only one killed in the incident.

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New Delhi: Jamesha Mubeen, the 29-year-old engineering graduate who died in the Coimbatore car blast on 23 October, had taken the ISIS oath and was planning to carry out a “suicide attack” to cause “extensive damage” to Kottai Eswaran Temple, investigation in the case has revealed claimed NIA officials.

According to NIA officials, Mubeen had planned to damage “symbols and monuments of a particular religion with the intention to strike terror among a particular section of the community”.

“He planned to attack the temple, destroy idols and create terror among the people,” a source in NIA said.

A case had been initially registered by the Tamil Nadu police, but the probe was then handed over to the NIA on 27 October. 

The NIA Thursday conducted raids at 42 locations in Tamil Nadu, and one in Kerala, in connection with the case. In Tamil Nadu, searches were carried out in eight districts, including Chennai, Coimbatore, Thiruvallur, Thiruppur, Nilgiris, Chengalpatu, Kanchipuram and Nagapattinam. In Kerala, raids were carried out in one location in Palakkad.

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‘Digital devices, incriminating documents seized’

At around 4 pm on 23 October a car laden with explosives had blown up in front of Kottai Eswaran Temple in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore District. The Maruti 800 car, in which an LPG cylinder exploded, allegedly belonged to Mubeen, who was in the vehicle at the time. He was the only one killed in the incident.

Mubeen had been questioned by the NIA in 2019 over alleged ties to a radical network linked with the Easter Sunday blasts in Sri Lanka. This had led to investigators suspecting a possible terror angle in the Coimbatore blast case.

Mubeen was believed to have been in touch with the network related to Zahran Hashim, the mastermind of the Easter bombings.

During Thursday’s raids, digital devices and incriminating documents, were seized from the houses of the suspects, NIA officials said.

Six people have been arrested in the case as yet and FIR also mentions Mubeen as an accused.

“The accused people had conspired with the deceased Jamesha Mubeen to procure different chemicals and other ingredients for fabrication of improvised explosive devices (IED), including a vehicle-borne IED, from online shopping platforms to commit sensational terrorist acts,” said the NIA source quoted above.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

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