Is al-Ummah shadowing as ISIS in South India?

al-Ummah, which is active in South India, is known to target members of the judiciary and Hindu leaders

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Bengaluru, Oct 21: It has been said that recently a module of the ISIS was busted in Kerala. Nearly 6 people were arrested last week for being part of an ISIS module. However, if one looks at the issues that this module was trying to address, it gets back to targeting judges, courts and Hindu leaders.

These issues are very similar to the ones that have been raised by local groups from Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Since the arrest of Abdul Nasar Madani, in connection with the Bengaluru serial blasts case, groups sympathetic to him have been raising questions.

Is al-Ummah shadowing as ISIS?

Officials say that there have been three blasts outside courts in 2016-Chittoor (Andhra Pradesh) and Kollam (Kerala) on April 7 and June 15 respectively and Mysore court blast on August 1. All of these were meant to send across a message to the judiciary. These blasts were attributed to a group known as the Base Movement which has strong roots in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

In this context one must also look into the blast outside the BJP office in Malleshwaram in 2013. Investigators had found that this attack was carried out to send a message to the BJP government in Karnataka which had ordered the arrest of Madani.

Shadow outfits

There have been a series of arrests across India and it was claimed that these people were part of an ISIS module. Intelligence Bureau officials had said that most of these groups comprised former members of the Indian Mujahideen.

Also read: Kodaikanal was a target for ISIS module in South India

IB officials also do not rule out the possibility of the ISI, Pakistan nurturing them and asking them to attack in the name of the ISIS. By doing so, the ISI gets the deniability that it needs.

Even in the modules busted in South India, this could be the case. The issues raised by them are similar to the ones raised by the Base Movement, originally the al-Ummah. The al-Ummah is an active outfit strong in Tamil Nadu and Kerala and has been accused of targeting the judiciary and Hindu leaders. Officers say that this is something that will be probed into.

Those arrested will be questioned in connection with the blasts at Chittoor, Kollam and Mysuru. These three blasts had taken place outside the courts. The al-Ummah, which backs Madani, wants to send out a message to the judiciary and hence is targeting the courts.

Further the module, believed to be that of the ISIS, has also spoken about targeting judges and Hindu leaders which again is an agenda of the al-Ummah.

Intelligence Bureau officials say that the possibility of the al-Ummah shadowing as the ISIS cannot be ruled out completely. The youth arrested are locals and there is a possibility of a link with the al-Ummah.

"This needs to be investigated further and to find out if they were trying to shadow in the name of the ISIS so that they could have a deniability factor," the officer also adds.

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