On ISIS recruits in South India, UN forgets to make a very honourable mention of Tamil Nadu

Vicky Nanjappa

New Delhi, July 27: The United Nations in its report spoke about the significant number of ISIS terrorists in Kerala and Karnataka.

The report said that there are a significant number of ISIS terrorists in both states and the Al-Qaeda in the Indian Sub-Continent has around 200 terrorists from India. Both these claims are not new and are known very well to the Indian Intelligence Bureau (IB) and the investigating agencies such as the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The probe by the NIA has revealed that the terror groups are not just strong in Kerala and Karnataka, but in Tamil Nadu as well. Recent investigations have shown that the ISIS had planned on setting up the wilayah in South Indian forests.

Significant number of ISIS terrorists in Kerala, Karnataka: UN report

It is a well known fact that since 2016, investigating agencies have carried out several arrests and also seized jihadi propaganda material in South India, especially in Kerala and to a large extent in Tamil Nadu.

Officials tell OneIndia while the problem does persist in Karnataka, the nexus in Kerala and Tamil Nadu is a more serious one. In 2019, the NIA had conducted raids at several locations in Tail Nadu. It was found that a Coimbatore module was operating in a similar fashion like the one in Kerala. Both these modules had planned on carrying out attacks in South India, the NIA learnt.

The NIA found that a person by the name Mohammad Azharuddin had recruited persons both from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. was the leader of the module and had been maintaining the Facebook page named "KhilafahGFX", through which he had been propagating the ideology of ISIS/ Daish. The accused was a Facebook friend of Sri Lankan suicide bomber Zahran Hashim and other members of the module have also been sharing radical contents attributed to Zahran Hashim, over the social media.

Tamil Nadu, on the other hand, has had a long run with the ISIS. The first known ISIS recruit in India, Haha Fakruddin is from Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu. Haha was in fact radicalised by a Cuddalore based group, following which he went to Singapore and then to Syria before joining the ISIS.

IB officials say that Tamil Nadu and Kerala face the bigger problems where the ISIS is concerned. The network is deeply infested in Tamil Nadu. To add to Kerala's worries is the Al-Qaeda, which operates as the Base Movement in the state.

The Islamic radicalisation in Kerala has been found to be multi-dimensional. The ISIS and the Al-Qaeda's Base Movement continue to operate in both Tamil Nadu and Kerala. It was found that both were operating through its network in Colombo.

Now coming to some very interesting data pieced together by the Indian agencies. It was found that the state that surfs for ISIS-related content the most is Kerala. This is followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and then Karnataka.

NIA registers first case outside India and Kerala ISIS operative is prime suspect

Kerala not just tops in terms of surfing ISIS content, but the number of recruits who have joined the outfit from that state is also the highest. Recently one witnessed an influx of Kerala Muslims into ISIS territory. Most of them had joined the ISIS in Afghanistan.

While around 60 of them have left directly from India, the others have moved into ISIS territory in Syria from other countries, the officer also noted. The IB has launched several operations to keep a track on such activities. One such programme is known as 'Operation Chakravyuh.' The IB keeps a tab on all ISIS-related activity on the internet through this operation.

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