The youths had a history of criminal activities. As per the Army, they were not good fighters. Money, and not ideology, appeared to be the motivating factor, he added. Mr Tharakan said earlier there were stray and unconfirmed reports about support to militant activities in Kerala and these were inquired into. But, now the involvement had become more organised. Referring to the arrest of SIMI activist Riazuddin Nazar by Karnataka Police earlier this year, Mr Tharakan said he had admitted that there was a training camp for SIMI activists at Wagamon in Kerala.
The information given by some SIMI activists arrested at Indore recently had also given some indication about the group's links in Kerala. He said it was possible that Kashmiri militant groups were trying to recruit youths from other states as the local support in Kashmir was drying up. Asked if the lack of stringent laws had led to the spurt in militant activity in Kerala, Mr Tharakan said while laws helped, information gathering was also essential. There was a need for a concerted effort by the security agencies and the society in general, he added.