Suhani, settled in Kerala’s Thodapuzha for over 20 years, came into contact with people who had links with IS in the state. He fled Thodapuzha after the NIA arrested some of his IS associates there and came to Tirunelveli, police said.
Suhani, who was worked in a shop, was arrested from his house at Khadermoideen Pallivasal Street and was taken to Kerala for further investigation, they added.
The six men, who were arrested earlier for their links with the international terror outfit in Thodupuzha, confessed to police Suhani was their associate and that he fled to Tamil Nadu after the NIA nabbed them.
The NIA picked up the six men on Sunday while they were in a meeting in a hilltop shrine in Kerala and said they were plotting attacks on key figures and public places, gathering explosives and other material to mount attacks in southern India during Diwali later this month.
“During the searches, incriminating material including electronic devices have been seized from their possession and search of their premises,” the agency said in a statement, calling them members of an “Islamic State-inspired terror module”.
The men were between the ages of 24 and 30, an official at the agency said.
Islamic State has struggled to win over many recruits in India, which is home to the world’s third-largest Muslim population.
But over the past year or so, the NIA has found small groups of people in Kerala and Tamil Nadu who have either travelled to Syria to join the militant Sunni group or planned attacks inside India.
Earlier this year, investigators said 12 men, six women and three children went missing from Kerala and were later believed to have joined Islamic State.